Felton man critically injured in motorcycle accident

FELTON – A Felton man is in critical condition following a serious motorcycle crash occurring March 8 at approximately 6:30 p.m.

According to Delaware State Police, Rhonda A. Martin, 63 of Felton, was operating a 2004 Jeep Liberty eastbound on Sandtown Road west of Cabin Ridge Road. Paul J. Perry, 29 of Felton, was operating a 2002 Kawasaki Ninja eastbound on Sandtown Road approaching the Jeep from behind when the Jeep began to turn right into a private drive. The motorcyclist applied his brakes and skidded approximately 62 feet before the bike slid on its side and struck the Jeep on the right rear corner. Perry was ejected from the motorcycle and landed on the side of the road.

Paul Perry was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and was airlifted by Delaware State Police Aviation (Trooper 2) to Christiana Medical Center where he is currently listed in critical condition.

Rhonda Martin was properly restrained and uninjured in the crash.

The Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit is currently investigating the incident and no charges have been filed. Sandtown Road was closed for approximately three and a half hours while the crash was investigated and cleared.

If anyone may have witnessed this collision they are asked to contact Sergeant M. Groce at 302-698-8518. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, via the internet at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword “DSP.”

With warmer weather fast approaching, more motorcycles are back out on the road and the drivers of passenger vehicles need to be alert. Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway. Drivers of passenger vehicles should always remember to follow these steps provided by the Delaware State Police to help keep motorcyclists safe:

  • Allow a motorcyclist the full lane width. Although it may seem as though there is enough room in a traffic lane for an automobile and a motorcycle, the motorcycle needs the full room to maneuver safely. Do not share the lane.
  • Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows the motorcyclist to anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position.
  • Remember that motorcyclists are often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot or missed in a quick look due to their smaller size. Always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.
  • Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals usually are not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed.
  • Remember that road conditions which are minor annoyances to passenger vehicles pose major hazards to motorcyclists. Be aware that motorcyclists may need to change speed or adjust their position within a lane suddenly in reaction to road and traffic conditions such as potholes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces, pavement seams, railroad crossings, and grooved pavement.
  • Don’t tailgate a motorcycle. Allow more following distance, three or four seconds, when following a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.

Motorcyclists must also follow the rules of the road, according to the Delaware State Police, including remaining alert to other drivers and always wearing protective gear including high visibility outerwear.

In 2014, motorcycles were involved in 398 crashes, 12 of them fatal, 232 of them resulting in personal injuries and 89 involving property damage.

In 2015, motorcycles were involved in 402 crashes, 20 of them were fatal, 209 of them were personal injuries and 106 were property damage. The remainder of the crashes for both years were a result of minor or non-reportable crashes, according to the Delaware State Police.

The group hopes this is the first year in recent years when motorcycle fatalities do not increase. “Share the Road” with motorcycles and “Look Twice.”

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