Patrick Reed, 29, of Twentynine Palms was killed in a motorcycle accident on Highway 62 after a speeding vehicle turned in front and struck him. According to this news Web site, Reed was riding east on Highway 62 at Indian Cove Road the evening of February 18, 2009 when the vehicle struck him. Reed was thrown from his motorcycle and pronounced dead at the scene. The vehicle that struck him was apparently traveling at about 65 mph.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Patrick Reed who was apparently an Iraq War veteran. The comments about Reed on this news Web site show how much he was loved and respected. As one of his friends put it, Reed survived Iraq, but couldn’t survive Southern California. I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved Patrick Reed.
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, in 2006, there were no fatalities in Twentynine Palms and only one injury relating to motorcycle accident. In San Bernardino County as a whole, however, 39 deaths and 507 injuries were reported as a result of San Bernardino motorcycle accidents.
This newspaper report does not offer any information about the driver of the other car that hit Reed. There are many questions here. How and why did this accident occur? Why did the vehicle traveling at such a high rate of speed turn in front of Reed’s motorcycle? Was the other motorist operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Did the other motorist stop at the scene and if yes, was he or she cited or arrested?
If the other motorist was driving under the influence, then he or she would face criminal vehicular manslaughter charges. Whether or not the driver was under the influence, it seems to me that he or she is at fault and must be held economically responsible for the accident and fatal injuries caused to Patrick Reed. His family may be able to file a wrongful death claim, which attempts to compensate them for medical/funeral expenses, loss of wages and companionship.
Patrick Reed’s family would be well-advised to retain the services of a reputed Southern California motorcycle accident attorney, who will ensure that justice is served and that the negligent parties are held responsible for their actions. A skilled personal injury attorney will also look into whether a dangerous condition on that highway contributed to this fatal auto accident. If that is the case, then the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining that highway could be held liable. According to California Government Code, any claim against a governmental agency must be filed within six months of the accident.