A 25-year-old woman was wearing all the proper safety gear when she was struck and killed on her motorbike last week shortly after pulling out of her driveway from her Hampden Township home, police said .
The crash around 6 p.m. Thursday that killed Carissa A. Mecum on Trindle Road at 39th Street is still under investigation, and no charges were filed Wednesday, according to Chief of Police Steve Junkin. Hampden Township.
Mecum rode west on her motorcycle on Trindle Road when she was struck by a left-turning vehicle from Trindle Road onto 39th Street, Coroner Charley Hall said. She was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple traumatic injuries, particularly to her head and neck, Hall said, despite her protective gear.
Mecum was wearing a PennDOT-approved motorcycle helmet at the time of the accident, along with gloves, boots and clothing that covered his arms and legs — all clothing authorities consider safety best practices for motorcyclists, said Junkin.
Mecum’s motorcycle and the vehicle that caused the accident remain at the Hampden Township Police Department, where they will be inspected for any signs of defects that may have caused or contributed to the crash, Junkin said.
The vehicle of the driver who caused the crash has minor fender-bender damage, Junkin said. It was the kind of collision, he said, where if it had involved two vehicles, the injuries would have been minor. But motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable, which is one of the reasons why drivers need to pay close attention, especially when turning left and crossing through opposing traffic, to look for smaller profile two-wheelers, laments Junkin.
Hampden Township Police are working with the Pennsylvania State Police Crash Reconstruction Team on this case. The Cumberland County Attorney’s Office was also consulted.
Investigators determine vehicle speeds and sight distance. They will also review witness statements and the surviving driver’s statement before making a decision on possible charges.
Mecum recently bought a house with her fiancé and was preparing to tie the knot next month, according to her family’s social media posts. Her obituary said she had two dogs she adored, graduated from Northern York County High School in 2014, and worked at the thredUP distribution center in Mechanicsburg.
The Mecum family has suggested that memorial donations could be made to Speranza Animal Rescue in her memory. A funeral is scheduled for Wednesday evening with a burial scheduled for Thursday noon in Dillsburg.
More than 5,500 motorcyclists died on the roads and more than 82,000 were injured nationwide in 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Data for 2021 was not yet available.
Motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to be killed in a traffic crash in 2019 than people in passenger vehicles, NHTSA said.
Junkin said drivers are hard-wired to search for cars and can sometimes pull up in front of a motorcycle without registering what they are doing.
“It’s just awful all around,” he said. “It’s the time of year when motorcycles come back. That’s when we usually see a spike in motorcycle accidents in general. I think it’s just important that people take this extra second to make sure there is no motorbike coming or in their blind spot.
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