Off-duty Tavares police officer dies ...

Off-duty Tavares police officer dies when motorcycle, SUV collide

There are 85 comments on the Orlando Sentinel story from Feb 12, 2007, titled Off-duty Tavares police officer dies when motorcycle, SUV collide. In it, Orlando Sentinel reports that:

An off-duty Tavares police officer on Sunday became the third motorcyclist in recent days to be killed when cut off by another motorist.

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Grandma in Cocoa

Melbourne, FL

#1 Feb 12, 2007
How many more motorcyclists have to die before the motoring public realizes that they have to share the roadways?

Not only are motorcyclists not safe, but neither are pedestrians or bicyclists.

People need to wake up and realize that there are other people out there, using Florida's roads. A LOOK TWICE – SAVE A LIFE program would be a good start. But that kind of education should begin with driver’s education classes in schools and there should be motorcycle safety questions on the test to obtain a driver’s license.
A defensive driver

Carthage, TN

#2 Feb 12, 2007
Not only is it important to have such a program to raise awareness like "Look twice save a life" but it is also important for motorcycle drivers to realize their responsibility as well. Too many times I have been on the highway and a motorcylce has been riding on the tail of the car in front of it. Other times they are passing in between lanes when there is too much traffic for them to wait. I am not saying it all motorcycle drivers do this but I see alot. SUV drivers, car drivers and motorcycles drivers all need to do a better job of paying attention to the road!

Gloversville, NY

#3 Feb 12, 2007
Doug Roberts

Tallahassee, FL

#4 Feb 12, 2007
Mike Poole was a great person and will be missed dearly. He was friends of the family and well known in the community. We will miss him.
Jessica J

Tallahassee, FL

#5 Feb 12, 2007
My parents both ride motorcycles, and i fear for them every time they leave the house. i think that people on the road arent considerate enough of the riders and they are too much in a hurry to get where they are going to take an extra second and look twice. although people on motorcycles are SAFER when they rid ein bug groups, they have the right-a-way just like the cars do, just noone gives them teh respect tehy need on the road.

IT DOESNT hurt to take a second look, it saves lives. think about it!

Chicago, IL

#6 Feb 12, 2007
I rode motorcycles for years and people were constantly making turns in front of me. As an automobile driver I have trained myself to look closely for motorcycles because they are harder to see and difficult to judge their speed. I suggest motorcyclists have multiple front lights on their bikes. I spot those that do much easier.

Winter Park, FL

#8 Feb 12, 2007
Here we go again!!! I fear for my life when I ride my bike, but why should I? I ride safely and defensively, I have a headlight, two driving lamps, and two yellow marker lamps on the front of my bike, but could she have seen that. How could she miss the motorcylcle coming at her with a headlight on???(They don't turn off anymore). Call this an accident if you want, I call it vehicular manslaughter!!!!!! Oh, by the way, what was she doing right before her turn, talking to the kids in the backseat, on the cellphone???

Ormond Beach, FL

#7 Feb 12, 2007
ROCK wrote:
I agree 100%!!!!

Maitland, FL

#9 Feb 12, 2007
Was she talking on her cell phone I wonder???

“I'm beautiful!”

Since: Feb 07


#12 Feb 12, 2007
Just yesterday my hubby and I were driving down a busy local road. Traffic was heavy. And not once, but TWICE, cars tried to cut into my husband's lane. We are both in our 40's, driving 700lb worth of chrome and steel each, obeying all traffic laws and still.... bonehead drivers talking on cell phones, eating Mickey D, yelling at kids... whatever, just take control of the entire roadway.

I think Grandma has a good idea. I would back something like this.

I also think more serious charges need to start being filed against the morons who can't realize that they still need to be cautious and courteous even when they are riding in a 2 ton SUV.

As for you folks who say "Well still, I have seen plenty of bikes acting like idiots".... that isn't what happened in this case, it isn't what has happened in 3 of the past 5 traffic fatalities that I know of. It is most often cars pulling in front of bikes because they don't bother to look twice.

You non-riders need to stop compensating for the stupidity of the driving public and stop blaming it on the actions of some less than smart kids. Pretty much, if the murder happens to a rider over the age of say... 30... it should be charged as what it is. MANSLAUGHTER!

Orlando, FL

#11 Feb 12, 2007
You know, this is getting out of control. I do not understand WHY a motorist cannot "see" a motorcycle? What is the deal? I own a bike and was hit back in May off of OBT in Apopka. The other driver, an SUV driver none-the-less , apparently did not "see" me either. It was NOTdark and road conditions had nothing to do with this. I was thrown across two lanes of roadway. I was very blessed that day. My bike was totaled, but I escaped with my life. How about the SUV drivers and all drivers for that matter, slow down and look before you turn?? Is that too much to ask? Does being in a hurry constitute taking an innocent person's life? I THINK NOT!!! SLOW DOWN PEOPLE! God bless Mr. Poole.

Orlando, FL

#14 Feb 12, 2007
AMEN Rock and Jesse! I lost my boyfriend to a VERY careless driver back in August (in Cincinnati) when he was riding his motorcycle in a 55mph zone. An SUV, exactly like the one which hit Officer Poole, turned in front of him. He had no time to react. The driver, with kids in the backseat, was charged with only vehicular manslaughter. This, in my opinion, should be vehicular homocide. The lady's children said they even saw his motorcycle so how could she have NOT? This lady has brought an EXTREME amount of emotional pain to myself as well his family and friends. So she will be on probation, have to do some community service, and pay some restitution? How ridiculous! She murdered him!!!!!!

Merritt Island, FL

#15 Feb 12, 2007
Costa Rica has a great law. No eating,drinking or cell phone use while driving. No distractions allowed. No fumbling for CD's. All ticketable offences, and loss of priviledges after multiple offences.

Sanford, FL

#16 Feb 12, 2007
I disaggree with the "excuse" that motorcyclists are harder to see. The problem is that people are not paying attention when they drive. PERIOD. If you are paying attention to the road, motorcyclists are easy to see. I ride a Heritage Softtail and have 3 headlights yet people have still turned left in front of me causing many close calls. We need to get serious about our drivers education programs as getting a license in the U.S. is a joke and a lot people clearly don't realize how dangerous driving really is until it's too late.
As I have matured and after I have responded to MANY fatal traffic crashes and seen first hand how absolutely horrific they are, I have learned the sole objective of driving is to safely get from point A to point B.
People are so worried about terrorists, but terrorists don't scare me at all. When terrorists start killing roughly 40,000 people annually in the U.S. like traffic crashes do, then I'll start worrying about them. Until then, I am most worried about the people behind the wheel with whom we are sharing the roadways. I will never understand why these senseless and avoidable deaths have become acceptable in the U.S.
My sincerest condolences to Detective Poole's family and may God grant them strength and serenity.
What If

Scottsmoor, FL

#17 Feb 12, 2007
I put a lot of miles on my car every day and see many responsible bike riders. However, just last week, I saw two morons on bikes on 408 West speeding and doing wheelies down the middle of the highway. They are the ones that need to be taken off the road. As far as SUV's and cars, there is a far larger percentage of idiots behind the wheel than you would ever see riding a bike. I personally respect bike riders and make sure if one is near me that I take precautions to allow them all the courtesies they are due.
LeRoy Larson


#18 Feb 12, 2007
Why is it that after someone does not see you and runs into you the focus turns to whether or not the rider was wearing a helmet?

Washington, DC

#19 Feb 12, 2007
If you're going to ride a motorcyle you KNOW and ACCEPT the risks.

Since: Jan 07

St. Cloud Florida

#20 Feb 12, 2007
Vehicular Homicide....plain
and simple. There is no such thing as an "accident"
as they are called on the highways. Obey all the laws
and watch what the hell you are doing, tell the kids to shut up...and drive the dang car!
Orlando Homegrown

Orlando, FL

#21 Feb 12, 2007
All of these heart wrenching stories of motorcycle vs automobiles are truly regretable and granted drivers of cars are notorious for not paying attention to their surroundings while driving down the road, but to charge them with "murder" is totally ridiculous.Motorcycles make up a very small percentage of traffic accidents and it is partially because of the lack of caution on the motorcyclist part not "Looking" ahead too. Either way, to start charging drivers with "Homicide" would open a Pandora's box! What is the difference between the death of some person on a motorcycle or that of someone in another car that turns across the path of an SUV? What about the motorcyclist that losses control of their bike and their passenger buys the farm,are you going to charge him or her with "Homicide"? There's way too many deaths on the Florida highways to be sure but there's no sense in trying to implement "Vehicular Homicide" to an accident when it's just that, an unfortunate "Accident". Save the "Vehicular Homicide" for those deserving cantidates that get drunk or exceed the 100mph limits or the"Hit and Run" and cause the loss of life to a loved one or family member.

Clermont, FL

#22 Feb 12, 2007
I agree with Eric- Anyone who rides a motorcycle is taking a gamble with their life everytime they ride, and why? Because it's "cool" ?? it's "fun" ??? That is a decision they make, and have to live and die with that decision. To me, it's just plain "stupid" for lack of a better word...I feel for the families of the selfish riders who make this decision.

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