SC woman’s death raises debates on whether a helmet should be worn or not

South Carolina News

NORTH AUGUSTA, SC (WJBF) – An Aiken woman’s friend breaks the silence on her death.

Ann Storey Cotton was killed in a crash over the weekend. Investigators say she hydroplaned on a motorcycle and was not wearing a helmet. 

It’s only been three days since the wreck,  and Cotton’s friend, Tony Taylor, says he’s still trying to comprehend her death. “She had this childlike enthusiasm, and I guess that’s the best way to describe her,” says Taylor.

She was part of a motorcycle ministry, and on International Female Ride Day, you bet she was excited to participate.

“Different groups all over the country of women got together to fellowship to just enjoy the day,” says Taylor.

However, there was bad weather and wet roadways, as well as tough riding conditions. Cotton struggled to stay on the road. 

“The bike hydroplaned on an area of water that was still on the road, and, apparently, when it hit the dry pavement or whatever it caught, it just shot her off like a rocket and she hit on her head,” says Taylor.

Cotton lost her life. Tony lost a friend.  “I don’t think I’ve ever cried as hard as I did that night,” says Taylor.

Cotton was not wearing a helmet, and the law says adults riding their motorcycles in South Carolina, don’t have to.  Tony said this is the fourth friend he lost because they did not wear a helmet.

North Augusta Public Safety Lieutenant, Lt. Junior Johnson, says, “the only people required to wear a helmet in South Carolina are the ones of 21 years of age or younger.”

Ann followed the law, but Lt. Johnson believes in safety first.

“Any time we see someone that’s doing something that we feel is an unsafe act, it’s very discouraging to us,” says Lt. Johnson.

They have the ability to save your life. Tony says they are hot and sweaty and a lot of riders just don’t want to wear them. 

“I’m kind of hypocritical on it because I advocate for wearing a helmet. I preach it. I tell people ‘please, put that helmet on.’ At the same time I don’t want the government coming and telling me I have to put that helmet on,” says Taylor.

He says if Anne had hers on, she might still be here today. 

“As far as would it have saved her? quite possibly,” says Taylor.

He says they just spoke about wearing a helmet, and Ann told him she was trying to get into the habit of it.

In Georgia, it’s required.

Cotton’s church is raising money in her memory. You can head to the Faith community Fellowship page on Facebook and the direct link is there.

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