Motorcycle rider escorting funeral struck by motorist

Fort Worth
Copyright 2001 Star-Telegram, Inc.

A motorcycle rider escorting a funeral procession was hit by a motorist who tried to cut through the procession at a Medical District intersection Wednesday, police reported.

The rider, Bill Beasly, was in critical condition Wednesday night at Harris Methodist Fort Worth hospital, according to his employer.

Gene Stidham, owner of Stidham Motorcycle Escort Service, and two other riders also were escorting the procession.

Beasley was eastbound in the 900 block of West Magnolia Avenue escorting family cars to St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church when the accident occurred, police Sgt. Billy Samuel said.

A van southbound on Alston Avenue was stopped at a stop sign, and Stidham signaled for her to remain stopped, Stidham said.

But after he rode past, she started across Magnolia and hit Beasley who was following Stidham, he said.

An officer cited the driver of the van for failure to yield, police said.

In Fort Worth, funeral processions with authorized escorts and with headlights on have the right of way over traffic except emergency vehicles, according to a city ordinance. They may be escorted through traffic lights and stop signs without pausing.

It is illegal for motorists to cut between vehicles of a moving funeral procession, the ordinance says.