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UPDATED: An early-morning crash at the intersection of U.S. 29 and Heathcote Boulevard in Gainesville on Saturday has now claimed the lives of both the driver and the passenger of the motorcycle involved in the incident, according to police.

Both James Edward Beach II, 41, of Gainesville, who was driving the motorcycle, and Shannon Nicole Meyer, 22, of Bristow, his passenger, have died as a result of their injuries, according to the Prince William County Police Department.

Beach was pronounced dead at the scene, while Meyer was transported to an area hospital, where she late succumbed to her injuries, according to a police news release.

Beach was driving a 2006 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R “at a high rate of speed” southbound on Lee Highway, approaching Heathcote Boulevard, when a 2010 Toyota Highlander exited the Interstate 66 west off-ramp, the release said.

The SUV was crossing Lee Highway and traveling onto Heathcote Boulevard with a green traffic signal. The motorcycle proceeded through the intersection against a red traffic signal, striking the SUV in the right rear section of the vehicle, the news release said.

Both the driver and passenger separated from the motorcycle. 

The driver of the SUV, a 63-year-old Centreville man, was not injured.

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(5) comments


I tried to give the benefit of the doubt to the motorcyclist in the Times 1st article. No doubt was due.

Wrong motorcycle choice considering the man's age and experience. Another bad decision considering the age difference between him and his rider? Extremely high rate of speed on a 45mph highway; especially more than an hour before daylight.

Excepting the suffering of how many family members and friends what else can be said?


How about if you don’t have anything meaningful to say just keep it to yourself? I’m sure friends and family don’t wanna be seeing people trash their father/brother/friend on the internet after a devastating tragedy such as this. And who are you to talk about age and experience on a bike?


If anyone trashed anyone on this issue you trashed yourself. You intended to slap me down for reasons, whatever they are that had absolutely zero to do with this terrible wreck.

As I understand things the purpose of a publication's open comments feature is for commentators to exchange ideas and opinions with each other in a civil manner.

If you had taken the time to read the first comment I made (yesterday?) you would see and understand that this comment (today's) was in sort an apology for what a reasonable person might have concluded was an unreasonable rush to judgment – by me.

Today's comment intended to rectify that using nothing more than the contents of this update. You would further see that I specifically mentioned the obvious suffering that many others must be feeling.

That said, while assuming it was safe to express a second opinion, clarification or exchange of ideas, yes in a meaningful and substantive way you either did not understand my comment(s) or you just wanted to lash out and set me straight in a flaming rant. How is that kind of behavior contributory, helpful or meaningful to any conversation or person?


Although his age was provided, please enlighten us on how you were able to determine how much riding experience he had or that a 600cc bike was the "wrong" bike for him? My 1st street bike was a 1k at 22 and a hayabusa a year later. Been riding since I was 8 yrs old.


Nice try but it won't work. As I explained to Clayton_S both my original comment and this article's followup focused specifically on various aspects that I felt might have contributed to this wreck. Road conditions and driver error. In my first comment I went out on a limb assuming that the motorcyclist probably was not at fault. Today's update made it clear that the motorcyclist was at fault and my initial judgment was wrong. I also repeated this in my response to Clayton_S. Nowhere in either of my article comments or responses have I even lightly tried to focus the discussion away from the articles coverage or objectives or bring my own life's experiences, skills or lack thereof center stage. This even though, when making a comment most people do draw from those things.

So for whatever the reason first Clayton_S and now you seem determined to engage me in a tic-for-tac of personal level retaliations contest none or all of which combined contributes anything of meaningful value to the original articles. These by the way are the very things that you and Clayton_S are trying to prove that I didn't do. If there is any reciprocity for or of mutual benefit to the articles, to other readers or between Clayton_S and you towards all of it including me I fail to see it. Hence I won't be an active part of what you're doing.

Personally the truth is I'm probably obliged somewhat to Clayton_S and you. I learned that in any future articles covering situations like this wreck that I need to double check my thoughts so that I avoid unnecessarily adding more grief to what already exists. How much more enlightened can an old man be?

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