TRAGIC AND IRONIC, FLORIDA LAWYER AGAINST HELMET LAWS DIES IN MOTORCYCLE CRASH
More often that I’m comfortable with, news delivers both tragedy and irony. But this story takes both to new heights. For over 10 years, Ron Smith, a lawyer, has strongly advocated against Florida laws requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets on the hog. And eventually, the state of Florida saw fit to change its laws. People didn’t have to wear helmets anymore when they rode their motorcycles. And now we have the news that both Ron Smith, 66, and his girlfriend Jeanan Volpe, have died in a motorcycle crash. Both died from blunt force trauma to the head.
LAWYER AND GIRLFRIEND BOTH DIED OF BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA TO THE HEAD, NEITHER WORE HELMETS
The accident happened two months ago, in August. To make both the irony and the tragedy even more poignant, the two were on their way to a funeral at the time. Smith lost control of their motorcycle attempting to slow down for traffic ahead of them. But they crashed into a trailer attached to a truck, killing them both. Neither were wearing helmets, and both died of serious injuries to their heads from serious impact. Would a helmet have saved one, or even both of them? That’s still an open question, and will likely forever remain so.
MOST THINK WEARING A HELMET ON A MOTORCYCLE IS A NO-BRAINER DECISION, THIS IS WHY
Eric Teoh is a motorcycle safety researcher at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. He said that it’s “entirely possible” they would have survived if they had been waring helmets. But, “we can’t say for sure.” Yet I have to note that’s like saying “if there was a little less rain, maybe there would have been no mudslide; we can’t say for sure.” But what we can say for sure is that Smith was a member of American Bikers Aimed Toward Education, or Abate. Abate is an advocacy group that lobbies against helmet laws. We can also say that Abate’s members believe that people should have the freedom to make their own choices. Especially when it comes to wearing a helmet or not. You get the point. Regardless, irony and tragedy are indelibly intertwined with this story.