Bordentown, New Jersey was the scene of two separate NJ motorcycle accidents last month. Both Jude Bihari, 52, of Florence, NJ, and Ronald Ross, 42, of Macungie, PA were killed on a portion of Interstate 295 which was undergoing construction.
According to reports, Mr. Bihari, traveling northbound on I-295 at about 4:10 a.m., lost control of his 2007 Harley-Davidson as he attempted to switch from the right lane to the center lane. He was thrown from his motorcycle into the center lane and struck by two cars. (NJ Police report that neither of the two drivers will be charged in this incident).
Due to the construction taking place on that section of I-295, a layer of pavement in the right lane had been removed, making the center lane at least 2 inches higher than the right lane. According to New Jersey State Police, signage is present to warn motorists of the road surface transition and a solid white line is in place to keep drivers from changing lanes in that area.
About 8 hours later, Mr. Ross, also traveling northbound on a motorcycle in the same general vicinity on I-295 in Bordentown, NJ tried to change lanes. He hit the raised surface of the road and was thrown from his bike into the air and then fell onto the pavement. Mr. Ross was transported to Capital Health Center – Fuld Campus and pronounced dead later that afternoon.
Many of us tend to ignore or forget the purpose of the solid white line. These lines indicate no lane crossing. On the other hand, was the construction signage sufficient to warn the motorists? The road must be safe at all times. Erecting a warning sign up does not necessarily relieve the construction company and/or the State of New Jersey from providing safe roads at all times.
A construction engineer and perhaps an accident reconstructionist may be utilized in this case to determine whether the road was unsafe and therefore should have been closed. Sounds like a tough case…