A Bronx motorcyclist who lived life in the moment died on Sunday morning while traveling on the Major Deegan Expressway.
William Humphries, 24, of Fordham Heights was riding southbound on the Major Deegan Expressway near Exit 11 on Sunday around 10:30 a.m. when his 2005 Yamaha collided with the rear of a 2006 Mazda van that was also traveling southbound, according to police. Mr. Humphries sustained severe body trauma from the accident, according to police reports.
Emergency personnel transported Mr. Humphries to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The 50-year-old and a 7-year-old passenger in the Mazda were transported to Montefiore Hospital with minor injuries, police said.
At a makeshift memorial in front of Mr. Humphries’ apartment building on Walton Avenue on Monday, family and friends set up candles and wrote condolences on a white cardboard-like strip that was set up along the railing of the building, where Mr. Humphries’ helmet also hung.
“I saw him the night before,” said family friend Holley Davis, 44. “Every time I saw him, I would tell him to please be safe because it’s dangerous on the highway.”
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, since motorcycles do not have any enclosure to protect riders, motorcyclists are at greater risk of serious injury or death during crashes. A 2012 report from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 15 percent of all traffic fatalities involved motorcyclists. That same report noted that per vehicle mile traveled in 2012, motorcyclists were more than 26 times likelier than passenger car occupants to die in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
However, based on preliminary motorcyclist fatality records for 2013, the Governors Highway Safety Association, a non- profit advocating for highway safety, predicts that the final motorcyclist fatality total for 2013 will be approximately 7 percent less than the 4,957 fatalities recorded in 2012.