Thomas Westerlund, 25, suffered fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident after a vehicle making a U-turn struck him. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the fatal motorcycle crash occurred on Las Virgenes Road south of Thousand Oaks Boulevard the afternoon of June 12, 2013. Officials say his motorcycle collided with a pickup truck whose driver was making a U-turn.
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Kelly Morehouse, 25, was killed in a motorcycle accident, which officials say, was caused by a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal crash occurred at Goldenwest Street and Rio Vista Drive near Central Park. Police say Morehouse's boyfriend was driving a black 2012 Harley Davidson motorcycle south on Goldenwest the night of June 1, 2013 when it collided with a northbound blue 2010 Lexus sedan driven by 68-year-old Tadashi Mizutani.
Morehouse and her boyfriend were taken to a local hospital. Morehouse died at the hospital. Her boyfriend suffered leg fractures, but was in stable condition. Mizutani was arrested shortly after the incident on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and causing injury.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Kelly Morehouse, who by all accounts was a beloved member of her family and the community. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol's 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were four fatalities and 107 injuries involving DUI crashes in Huntington Beach. In Orange County as a whole, 45 people died and 1,317 were injured due to drunk driving collisions during the same year.
Drunk Driving Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that police suspect Mizutani was under the influence at the time. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): "It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle." A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will also likely face vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code section 191.5 (a).
Compensation for Victims and Families
In such cases, in addition to criminal charges, drivers can also be held civilly liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries and pain and suffering. Families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical and funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Huntington Beach personal injury lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families in such cases regarding their legal rights and options.
Quecannon Nihipali, 40, was killed in a Riverside County motorcycle crash, which officials say, occurred when he was lane splitting. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the fatal motorcycle crash occurred on May 20, 2013 when Nihipali was riding east on the line between two lanes in slow traffic just west of Main Street. As he did so, Nihipali struck the left rear of the vehicle to the right. He was knocked off the motorcycle and run over by a semi truck with a trailer that was traveling about 15 mph. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Lane splitting by motorcycles is legal only in the state of California.
Motorcycle Crashes in Riverside County
According to California Highway Patrol's 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one fatality and 52 injuries were reported as a result of motorcycle crashes in Corona. In Riverside County as a whole, 36 fatalities and 481 injuries were reported due to motorcycle accidents during the same year.
The Safety of Lane Splitting
Based on this news report, it appears that the motorcyclist was lane splitting when the crash occurred. CHP recently issued specific guidelines, for the first time, for those who split lanes on motorcycles. Officials warn that those who cannot split lanes safely should altogether abandon the practice. While it is legal to split lanes on a motorcycle, CHP officials say the key to safely lane splitting is speed. Officials advise that motorcyclists should lane-split no faster than 10 mph over the speed of traffic around then. They also recommend that motorcyclists not split lanes at all if the traffic is faster than 30 mph. Other motorists should also be aware that motorcyclists might be passing close by.
Potential Liability Issues
In any motorcycle accident case, it is important to look into potential causes and liability issues. If a negligent motorist caused or contributed to a crash, he or she can be held liable for the motorcyclist's wrongful death. If a product defect causes a motorcycle to crash, the manufacturer of the faulty motorcycle or part can be held liable as well. Families of deceased motorcyclists can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault parties seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer will be able to advise injured motorcycle accident victims and their families in such cases regarding their legal rights and options.
Alexander Smollins, 22, was killed in a motorcycle collision after his bike crashed with a car at a Santa Monica intersection. According to a City News Service report, the fatal collision occurred at the intersection of 25th Street and Pico Boulevard. Santa Monica police say Smollins was eastbound in the 2400 block of Pico Boulevard when he hit a car driven by a 26-year-old Inglewood man. The car was northbound on 25th Street and had turned left on to Pico after stopping at a stop sign. Smollins was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Anyone with information is asked to contact Santa Monica police at 310-458-8495.
Statistics Involving Motorcycle Crashes
There were no fatalities, but 38 injuries reported as a result of motorcycle crashes in Santa Monica, according to California Highway Patrol's 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). During the same year, 74 people died and 2,637 were injured due to motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles County.
Based on this news report, it appears that the collision occurred at a street intersection. The car made a left turn in front of the motorcycle when the crash occurred, officials say. The stop sign at this T-intersection is for traffic that is turning onto Pico. There are no stop signs for through traffic on Pico. I trust officials are looking into whether the car's driver failed to yield the right-of-way to the oncoming motorcycle.
California law requires drivers to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and proceed with caution. According to California Vehicle Code section 21802 (a): "The driver of any vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance to, or within, an intersection shall stop as required by Section 22450. The driver shall then yield the right-of-way to any vehicles which have approached from another highway, or which are approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to those vehicles until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety."
Fault and Liability
In this particular case, if the driver was determined to have been at fault, he or she can be held liable for the motorcyclist's wrongful death. Under California law, families of deceased victims can file a civil claim against the at-fault parties seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship.
An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will also be able to determine whether a dangerous condition at the intersection caused or contributed to the collision. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Any such personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental agency must be properly filed within 180 days of the incident, under California Government Code Section 911.2.
Mina Rezkalla, 19, was killed in a Los Angeles car accident after his motorcycle was struck by a vehicle that was making a left turn, the evening of September 24, 2012. According to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred at the intersection of Gilmore Street and Kester Avenue. Police said the driver, 62-year-old Raymon Khoury, was driving a Mercedes Benz E320 north on Kester Avenue and was turning left onto Gilmore Street when the car collided with the southbound motorcyclist. Rezkalla was taken to an area hospital where he died from his injuries. Khoury remained at the scene. No arrests or citations were reported. The investigation is ongoing.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and many friends of Mina Rezkalla who are mourning this tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
James Chappell, 29, was killed in a Los Angeles County car accident after he struck a van, whose driver cut him off, officials said. According to a news report in The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred the morning of September 13, 2012 on the westbound 210 Freeway near Fruit Street.
California Highway Patrol officials say Chappell was riding his 2002 Honda CBR600 motorcycle in the carpool lane, when a 58-year-old Claremont man driving a 2010 Ford E-350 van moved into the carpool lane, crossing the double yellow line, directly into the path of the motorcyclist. Chappell was unable to avoid hitting the back of the van. In spite of wearing a helmet, Chappell suffered sever head trauma and died from his injuries. No arrested or citations have been reported yet. The investigation is ongoing.
August 16, 2012—Lake Forest, CA—According to the Orange County Register, a 29-year-old man was killed when his motorcycle collided with an Acura making a left turn in front of him.
The accident occurred on Peachwood Street at Palmwood Drivejust after 12:00 noon. The motorcycle rider was traveling east on Peachwood when the driver of an Acura sedan turned left in front of him. The rider struck the door and was ejected from the bike. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Authorities have not released his name pending notification of his relatives.
No arrests have been made, but the major accident reconstruction team is currently investigating the collision.
My sincere condolences go out to the family of this unfortunate victim.
About two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents are the fault of a passenger car driver, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Of those accidents, fully half involve a driver making a left-hand turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle rider.
It is unclear why this phenomenon occurs so often. Some experts have speculated that the smaller size of a motorcycle when compared to a passenger car creates an illusion that causes drivers to believe they have more turning space than they actually do.
What Happened In This Accident
While it is clear that the driver turned left in front of the motorcycle rider, the question of fault still must be answered. It is possible that the motorcycle rider was running a red light, although that does not seem to be indicated from the initial accident reports. It is possible that there may be some other explanation for the accident. If so, the accident reconstruction team should be able to offer other possible scenarios that may have led up to this crash and might help determine where true liability lies in this accident.
The driver of the Acura sedan, if charged with the accident, could face a wrongful death suit brought about by the victim’s family for their loss. Wrongful death suits imply that there was a gross amount of negligence on the part of the defendant; in this case, that assumption would rest on the fact that the driver pulled out in front of the oncoming motorcycle and caused him to crash, ultimately leading to his death.
If you have an accident with a motorcycle in the Southern California area, you need to get in touch with an Orange County Motorcycle Accident Lawyer today.
Amir "Nick" Ekbatani, 25, lost a portion of his left leg after a Los Angeles County car accident. According to a news report in The Daily Breeze, the injury motorcycle crash occurred the night of July 14, 2012 at the intersection of Diamond Street and Pacific Coast Highway in Redondo Beach. Police say a cab driver, who was southbound on PCH made a left turn onto Diamond, colliding with the Ekbatani who was riding northbound on PCH. Ekbatani was ejected from his motorcycle and transported to a regional hospital. Doctors repaired his broken left femur, but were unable to save the crushed bottom portion of the limb. His friends say the only reason Ekbatani is alive is because he was wearing a helmet and because he was strong and healthy.
My heart goes out to Amir Ekbatani and his family. I wish him the very best for a speedy recovery. Please keep him and his family members in your thoughts and prayers. Doctors have given Ekbatani hope that he can be fitted with a prosthetic leg. The family is raising money for Ekbatani's medical expenses.
A motorcyclist was injured in a Fullerton car accident after crashing into the back of a Dodge van. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the motorcycle accident occurred at the intersection of Raymond and Orangethorpe avenues in Fullerton the morning of July 10, 2012. Officials say the eastbound Dodge van slowed to pull into a convenience store parking lot when the motorcycle crashed into the back of the van. The victim complained of pain to his abdomen and was taken to a nearby hospital. It is not clear if either driver will be cited for the crash.
My thoughts and prayers are with the motorcyclist who has been injured in this Orange County car accident. I wish him the very best for a complete and speedy recovery.
A man was injured in an Anaheim car accident after his motorcycle was rear-ended by another vehicle. According to The Orange County Register, the injury motorcycle accident occurred at the intersection of State College Boulevard and Vermont Avenue, the morning of May 21, 2012. Officials say a red Nissan crashed into the motorcycle, which was then forced into the back of a black Nissan. The red vehicle ended up on top of the motorcycle. The victim of this rear-end collision suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to a nearby medical center. It is not clear why the driver of the red Nissan crashed into the back of the motorcycle or if the car's driver will be cited for the accident.
I am relieved to hear that the victim of this Orange County accident did not suffer major or life-threatening injuries. I wish the motorcyclist the very best for a complete and speedy recovery.
Michael Douglas De St. Jean, 39, was killed in a Los Angeles car accident after a van struck his motorcycle at a street intersection. According to a news report in The Signal, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred the evening of May 17, 2012 at the intersection of Rutherford Place and Decoro Drive in North Valencia. De St. Jean was traveling eastbound on Decoro Drive when his motorcycle collided with a Penske van that was making a turn from northbound Rutherford to westbound Decoro. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation is ongoing.
Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the family and many friends of Michael Douglas De St. Jean, who will mourn this loss.
This May is Motorcycle Awareness Safety Month. The event is meant to call attention to the dangers that motorcyclists face when they are on the road. For example, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists were 25 times more likely to die in a wreck than were people in passenger cars. Motorcyclists were also five times more likely to suffer an injury in a crash.
Safety and Riding
If you've never ridden a motorcycle, it's hard to understand exactly how vulnerable a writer is. To give yourself an idea, imagine riding around on the hood of your car instead of inside it. Motorcyclists have no vehicle body around them to absorb impact. There is also nothing between them and anything kicked up on the road that might strike their body when they're riding.
If you happen to be a rider, there are definitely ways that you can improve your chances of surviving a bad crash. In fact, provided that you follow some basic safety measures, your chances of surviving a crash greatly increase.
James Patrick Marcotte, 63, was killed in a Los Angeles car accident after a car crashed into his cycle at a street intersection. According to a news report in The Daily Breeze, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred at the intersection of Westchester Parkway and Will Rogers Street, the evening of May 7, 2012. Police say Marcotte was westbound on Westchester Parkway when the crash occurred. It was unclear whether the driver of the car was injured. No other information was available.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of James Patrick Marcotte who are mourning their loved one's tragic loss.
Two motorcyclists and the driver of a SUV suffered major injuries in a San Bernardino car accident, the night of May 6, 2012. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the injury crash occurred on Highway 18 near Inspiration Drive in Running Springs. California Highway Patrol officials said Justin Kilgore, 30, was riding a 2009 Harley-Davidson southbound and was being followed closely by Michael Anson, 30, who was riding a 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan.
At the time, a northbound Subaru Outback driven by 21-year-old Justin Evans crossed the double yellow line. Kilgore's Harley struck the left front of the Subaru. Kilgore was thrown from the bike. Anson, who was right behind Kilgore, was also thrown after his motorcycle hit the SUV. Kilgore, Anson and Evans were transported to area hospitals for treatment. It is not clear if any charges will be filed.
Michael Johnson, 47, of Apple Valley, was killed in a Victorville car accident after a minivan turned ahead of his motorcycle. According to a news article in The Press-Enterprise, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred early morning on May 7, 2012 at the intersection of D and Second streets. Police say Casey Hunter, 32, was driving a Ford Windstar van east on D and had stopped at Second. He then made a left turn in front of Johnson's 2005 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic that was westbound on D Street. Johnson slammed into the van and died from his injuries. No arrests have been made pending the official investigation.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Michael Johnson who are mourning their loved one's tragic loss. My heart goes out to Johnson's grieving family members.