A large number of motorcycles crashed at the Gauley Bridge rail road crossing on Highway sixty, east of Charleston, during the MOA rally. There is rubber matting for six or seven feet surrounding the tracks as they cross the road. It is located on a curve and a rise. When wet it is a motorcycle trap. My wife and I went down while going slower than the twenty five mile an hour recommended speed. Our RT was totaled. The road was wet from a light rain. In the coarse of ten minutes three bikes tires went out from under them and they went down. The local sheriff that came in response to our 911 call was tight lipped regarding the crossing other than to say there was nothing his department could do because the design met the West Virginia DOT standards. There was something that he wouldn't say. A young man at our crash told us he had camped and fished near there during the memorial day weekend and a dozen bikes went down when the rain wet the rubber. When we got back to BMW of Grand Rapids for an insurance estimate, I was put in touch with another BMW rider that went down there with the story of yet another Michigan LT that went down and a passengers broken arm. I would like to compile a list of victims of this stupidity. The policemen wouldn't write me an accident report, only a "accident information exchange" . No report, No numbers. As far as the Gauley bridge police department records go it didn't happen.
I am angry and fearful that another motorcyclist will be hurt on this foolish engineering mistake. The rail road owns the crossing and is responsible for it's relative safety. I have owned and ridden motorcycles for over thirty years. I am a careful and responsible rider. We stayed and slowed bikes for over an hour until the rubber dried. At least half the bikes slipped crossing the rubber even at very slow speeds. Please help to compile a list of names and contacts so we can get this situation changed.
I don't know how to proceed but I know that numbers talk. I am no fan of litigation, but sometimes it's what needs to be done to make a large organization take notice of a bad situation. DonS
I have attached a photo to illustrate this danger to motorcyclist