Maryland State Police are investigating a deadly motor vehicle crash in St. Mary’s County that left a newlywed couple dead. Phillip Brian Natalie died at the crash scene, while his wife, Jessica Laurel Natalie, was pronounced dead at St. Mary’s hospital following the crash. Jessica and Laurel, who were both 26, were married this summer.
The collision took place at the intersections of Crimson Drive and Willows Road. Police reports indicate that the Maryland motor vehicle collision happened after a Toyota Camry, driven by 25-year-old Lateesha Shonte Cooper, made a left turn and drove into the path of the motorcycle that the couple was riding. Cooper, who is also a Lexington Park resident, was treated at a hospital for her injuries and later released.
According to Lt. Michael Thompson, preliminary findings made it appear to him as if the motorcycle was trying to avoid Cooper’s car. He noted the possibility that Cooper might have failed to yield the right of way.
Maryland State Police records show that there were 96 motorcycle deaths in Maryland in 2007. Police say that although only 2% of all registered motor vehicles in Maryland are motorcycles, these vehicles were involved in 16% of the state’s deadly traffic collisions. While Maryland motorcyclists are responsible for 50% of these auto accidents, the other 50% of traffic crashes are caused by other motorists.
2007 NHTSA US Motorcycle Crash Statistics:
• 5,154 motorcyclists died.
• 103,000 others were injured.
• 1,784 lives were saved because of helmet use.
• 2,332 two-vehicle crashes involved collisions between a motorcycle and another vehicle.
• 25% of all motorcycles involved in deadly accidents were in collisions with fixed objects.
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