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Author Topic: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans  (Read 9753 times)

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BayouBiker

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Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« on: March 30, 2008, 08:28:38 AM »

NOPD arrests motorcycle driver after fatal accident
11:18 AM CDT on Friday, March 28, 2008
By Jill Hezeau / WWL-TV Eyewitness News

New Orleans police have arrested the driver of a motorcycle after an early morning fatal accident.

Police said 47-year-old Brian Gumto was traveling westbound on Tchoupitoulas with 37-year-old female passenger when, at the intersection of Calliope, he turned around to argue with her.

Gumto then struck the curb and flipped several times.

He sustained minor injuries. His passenger was taken to the hospital where she later died.

Police booked Gumto and charged him with vehicular homicide after he was given a Breathalyzer test which came back over the legal limit.

Police are not releasing her name pending notification of her family.

(Another version of the story from the Times-Picayune:)

Saturday, March 29, 2008
From staff reports

A woman was fatally injured in a motorcycle crash early Friday in New Orleans, the Orleans Parish coroner's office said.

Judith Smith, 35, was a passenger on a motorcycle Friday about 1 a.m. at Tchoupitoulas and Calliope streets, chief coroner's investigator John Gagliano said, when the motorcycle reportedly struck an object in the road and Smith was thrown off. She died Friday at 3:59 a.m. at University Hospital.

Smith had been in New Orleans for about eight months, but was from the Tampa Bay, Fla., area.

Police provided no additional information on the accident. The identity of the driver was unavailable.


(The driver, Brian Gumto, was a sales person from the local H-D dealer on Airline Dr. & Judith Smith worked with the Army Corps of Engineers)
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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2008, 09:36:32 AM »

Very sad, tragic and unnecessary.  It seems the innocent always suffer the most.  If the written account of what happened is correct I hope they throw the book at the rider.   
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Texas Lurker

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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2008, 05:02:02 PM »

SOOOOOOOOOO SAD          Linny
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Capo

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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2008, 08:28:58 PM »

Another tragedy that may have been avoided by good judgement and better choice-how many times have you dodged this bullet?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2008, 11:36:03 AM by Capo »
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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2008, 09:33:57 AM »

I just wonder how the news reporter determined that the rider was argueing with the passenger?  :-\  spyder
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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2008, 10:46:09 AM »

I just wonder how the news reporter determined that the rider was argueing with the passenger?  :-\  spyder

Would have made more sense if they were married and arguing.
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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2008, 08:25:30 PM »

a sad story indeed
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ccr

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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2008, 06:25:53 AM »

Another tragedy that may have been avoided by good judgement and better choice-how many times have you dodged this bullet?
Yes indeed, a horrible tragedy.  And how many times have I dodged that bullet?  Probably at least once every day of my 51 years.

Bikes go where you are looking, and he was not looking forward. 

Sad story indeed. 
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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2008, 12:18:51 PM »

Not good, prayers and condolences to the family.  You can only imagine what the rider has to live with.
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Seegarsmkr

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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2008, 04:54:30 PM »

I agree that it is sad indeed but I also have a little different perspective on the matter though he was VERY wrong and VERY guilty...did she not know that he was drinking before she got on the back...I would be very surprised if they were not drinking together and then...no innocent victims.

These incidences give us all a black eye that we sure as H E double hockey stick don't need.

Seegarz :-X
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BayouBiker

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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2008, 05:19:16 PM »

Well, his BAC was .09 and hers was nearly .20, and she was arguing with him while they were riding.
Neither of them should have been on a bike.
A $25 taxi is far cheaper than a DUI ticket or death.

He has been released on bond & is back at work pending trial. We can tell he is completely devastated by this and hasn't even begun the legal process yet....
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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2008, 02:37:12 PM »

Well, his BAC was .09 and hers was nearly .20, and she was arguing with him while they were riding.
Neither of them should have been on a bike.
A $25 taxi is far cheaper than a DUI ticket or death.

He has been released on bond & is back at work pending trial. We can tell he is completely devastated by this and hasn't even begun the legal process yet....

Point made!!
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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2008, 08:34:12 PM »

Well, his BAC was .09 and hers was nearly .20, and she was arguing with him while they were riding.
Neither of them should have been on a bike.
A $25 taxi is far cheaper than a DUI ticket or death.

He has been released on bond & is back at work pending trial. We can tell he is completely devastated by this and hasn't even begun the legal process yet....

And there you have it! What a wing-nut! RIP!
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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2018, 08:11:51 AM »

As someone who knew both the deceased and the defendant, however briefly, I felt it incumbent upon me to clarify a few points on this unfortunate case:

• His BAC was 0.923 (typo??) when a field sobriety test was administered by NOPD later that evening;
• Hers was listed as 0.112 post-mortem;
• The legal limit is 0.08 in Orleans Parish, State of Louisiana;
• The intersection of Tchoupitoulas and Calliope (https://goo.gl/maps/webov7KchZR2) is fairly straightforward to navigate, with wide sight-lines, if not especially well-lit at night;
• The accident occurred 1 mile into their otherwise 6-mile journey back home;
• Neither party, originally from Florida, had lived in New Orleans very long;
• Found guilty of vehicular homicide in 2008, Mr. Gumto was sentenced to substantial jail time, which he served in part, his term concluding somewhere between 2012 and 2014;
• The facts of his conviction and unsuccessful appeal in court can be read at https://504.la/2D9FCHO
• His online profiles reside at https://www.facebook.com/brian.albert.988 and https://www.linkedin.com/in/briangumto/
• During his 6 months in New Orleans, Mr. Gumto was a salesperson for Harley-Davidson Motor Company; after his release from prison, he was again hired by the company as a parts department manager at a different location, and he currently is employed by Greg's Custom Cycle Works of Clearwater, Florida.

Sorry to dredge up a morbid and long-forgotten topic, but the trauma to both sides was real and palpable at the time. I hope my posting this (hopefully unbiased) assessment helps to clarify things a bit without casting aspersions.

 - Libra

« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 08:24:08 AM by LibraSun »
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muddypaws

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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2018, 10:30:50 AM »

Drinking and driving is never a good thing...
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Bill

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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2018, 11:22:50 AM »

Sorry to dredge up a morbid and long-forgotten topic, but the trauma to both sides was real and palpable at the time. I hope my posting this (hopefully unbiased) assessment helps to clarify things a bit without casting aspersions.

 - Libra
"Dredge" is certainly the right word for reviving this 10 year old post.  OTOH, this case shows how easy it is to have an accident when riding, even without other vehicles involved.

After reading the facts of his conviction and appeal (thanks for posting the link); it's clear he was over the BAC limit and shouldn't have been riding.  He admitted he turned around to talk to his BSR, and that's when they crunched.  Unfortunately, it's a fact that alcohol impairs the same judgment area of the brain that says "don't drive" and "don't turn around to talk" and "don't get distracted by ____."

From your statements, it's apparent you were/are closely associated with at least one of the two involved.  It's also interesting to note that you apparently joined this forum to comment on this case.  Feel like expanding on that?
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Chains

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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2018, 11:31:56 AM »

Sad to hear.  I often wonder how HD dealers get by serving free beer on weekends here in Florida.  I gave up drinking and riding a long time ago after I hit my own car coming into the garage a little hot ???
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 10:26:10 PM by Chains »
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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2018, 09:25:37 PM »

Berts HD in St Pete is one of the free beers dealers. Not a place I want to be around anymore. To many folks sucking down a few then riding.
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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2018, 10:03:25 AM »

I waiting to see how the states with legal marijuana are going to deal with impaired driving. It has kept me from planning a weeklong ride of Colorado.
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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2018, 10:43:42 AM »

I really appreciate the kind reception, since I know resurrecting old threads is generally uncool. And, yes, I did join the forum only because this post came up while Googling info on the accident (which had come to mind earlier that day as I biked past the spot where it occurred).

Long story short, I was acquainted (not "friends") with both Judy and (much less so) Brian through my partner, who happened to be Judy's co-worker. All of us had had lunch together just a couple of days prior, where I couldn't help noticing Brian was rather a cantankerous sort, arguing with anybody about anything. I/we knew nothing about the stresses in his life, so took it as a sign of his personality.

After Judy was killed, and Brian was jailed, we were left to clean up their (really "her" as it was leased by her employer) apartment, drive her car to a safe holding spot, and so on, which is a harrowing ordeal in itself. Basically box everything up so that her family could come claim it. Then vacate the premises so the landlord could rent to someone else, etc.

Needless to say, a bunch of Judy's friends were absolutely devastated by the turn of events, and more than a little angry with Brian. But the facts of the case suggest both parties used poor judgment. As someone said above, one taxi ride might have prevented so much sadness. (Uber and Lyft would not appear for several more years.)

My takeaways: (1) Bad things happen even to good people. (2) When under stress, check your situation twice over. (3) Life can end at any moment, so create your legacy now. (4) Don't be a dick.

Ironically, despite widespread alcohol consumption in New Orleans, the incidence of DUI-related injuries and death remains consistently low. Reason: The natives know how to handle their liquor, starting from their preteen years (ask any bartender how many kids they've served). It's the out-of-town college kids who get effed up and puke on the French Quarter sidewalks. Hell, NOLA has drive-thru daiquiri shops, with the only restriction being that they leave the end of the paper straw intact, so it's not an "open container" (LOL). Of course, NOPD still conducts random sobriety checkpoints regularly, which is a non-event here.

Sorry for the long-winded reply. Y'all seem like a great bunch of folks, and I didn't wanna leave you hanging. I guess we all recognize that vehicular deaths are a part of normal life, and that any accident could have been caused by something "dumb" we did, like changing the radio, looking away for one second, or checking a text message. Motorcycle riders (I grew up riding on the back of my sister's Kawasaki 700, but never owned one myself) have a lot more common sense and road smarts than us "hands on ten-and-two" Sunday motorists, which makes this seemingly self-inflicted mess all the harder to comprehend.

Life is a marvel. Eyes on the road.

 - Libra
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Twolanerider

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Re: Fatal motorcycle accident in New Orleans
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2018, 01:48:20 PM »

Much more fulfilled watching the road ahead than the threads behind.
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