Biker seriously injured in collision with SUV

— Photo from the Albany County Sheriff’s Office

The wrecked remains of a motorcycle after its rider failed to stop at an intersection  in Clarksville and was hit by a car indicate how severe the injuries were to its rider.

CLARKSVILLE — A 38-year-old Ravena man is in serious condition after being struck by a car and thrown from his motorcycle when he failed to stop at an intersection on Route 443 Wednesday afternoon, according to Albany County Sheriff’s Inspector Charles Higgins. The crash occurred less than a mile from the sheriff’s Clarksville station and was also close to the Onesquethaw Volunteer Fire Company’s station, which had emergency medical services respond to the call.

Police are not releasing the name of the biker nor of the SUV driver since no charges have been made, said Higgins. He said the events unfolded this way:

The man had been riding his motorcycle north on Lower Flat Rock Road in Clarksville towards the intersection with Route 443, where he failed to see a stop sign due to low-hanging tree branches and continued through. A 21-year-old Delanson woman traveling east in a medium-sized SUV struck the middle-end section of the motorcycle and sent its rider flying off of it onto the road.

“His friend said they couldn’t see the stop sign, that they didn’t see it until they were too close,” said Higgins, referring to a friend of the motorcycle operator who was traveling with the man on his own motorcycle at the time of the crash. Higgins noted that the sheriff’s office confirmed that the sign was occasionally obstructed by branches as the tree’s limbs moved in the wind.

Higgins said that the driver of the SUV would have missed the motorcycle had it passed through seconds later, and would have killed the rider had he ridden through a second earlier.

The impact of the crash sent the man hurtling over a fence into the front yard of a home at the intersection of Route 443 and Upper Flat Rock Road, with the torn-apart bike leaned up against the fence and its rear tire traveling two houses from the intersection. The impact damaged the steering mechanism of the SUV, leading it and its driver to skid to a stop just between the treeline and a home two houses up from the intersection, said Higgins.

“It almost looked like she parked there,” said Higgins.


— Photo from the Albany County Sheriff’s Office
The front end of an SUV was smashed in Clarksville after a motorcycle rider failed to stop at an intersection and was hit by a car, police say.


Sheriff’s deputies were called at about 4:51 p.m. on Wednesday; they found the seriously injured rider still in the front yard, and received an account from the fellow motorcycle rider to determine what had occurred.

Sergeant Thomas Halloran was the first member of the sheriff’s office to respond to the crash, arriving at 4:54 p.m. A paramedic from the sheriff’s office arrived at 4:58 p.m. Police, fire, and EMS responders were on the scene until 6:28 p.m., said Higgins.

Halloran and another sergeant, three investigators, four deputies, and Higgins all responded to the accident. Higgins attributes the quick and thorough response to the short distance between the accident site and the Clarksville station, noting that there likely wouldn’t have been a similar number of police responding in a more distant town like Rensselaerville.

“These are pretty impressive response times,” he noted. “It’s certainly a benefit of Clarksville.”



The motorcycle rider was brought to Albany Medical Center with serious injuries by Onesquethaw’s EMS workers. The driver of the SUV considered not requesting an ambulance, but was advised by her father to seek medical attention due to the airbag in her car deploying, said Higgins. The sheriff’s EMS staff transported her to Albany Medical Center.

Both motorcycle riders were licensed and wearing helmets. The driver was licensed and wearing a seatbelt, said Higgins, and neither the SUV driver nor the biker was speeding. The speed limit on Route 443 is 55 miles per hour and is 40 miles per hour on both Upper and Lower Flat Rock roads. No one involved was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he said.

The main factor was the motorcycle operator’s inattentiveness, said Higgins, noting that the two riders did not know the road very well.

“At worst case, there would be a stop sign run,” Higgins said, of potential charges, but he said at this point the Sheriff’s office would not be pressing charges against the recovering man.

Upper and Lower Flat Rock roads have stop signs at their intersections with Route 443, which does not have stop signs at the intersection. Higgins said they may speak to New Scotland’s highway department about the obscured stop sign.


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