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Second Head-On Motorcycle Collision in a Week on San Gabriel Roadway

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Two motorcyclists – John Vincent Portlock, 49, and Chamnan Bun, 20 – suffered serious injuries after a head-on motorcycle collision on Glendora Mountain Road on December 21, 2008, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports. This is apparently the second time in one week that there has been a head-on motorcycle collision on that road. The most recent crash occurred just south of East Fork Road in the Angeles National Forest north of Glendora.

Portlock was northbound and Bun was southbound. The crash occurred at a curve and both riders were thrown off their motorcycles. Portlock was hospitalized with critical injuries while Bun is said to have suffered moderate injuries. Authorities say one of the motorcyclists may have crossed over the center line. The other crash – a very similar one – occurred on December 14, 2008. That incident happened just three miles further south on Glendora Mountain Road. In that accident, the motorcyclists were rounding a curve when one motorcyclist crossed over the center line and collided head-on with the other.

I’m relieved that all the motorcyclists involved in both head-on collisions survived the accidents. It certainly could have been a lot worse. I wish all the injured motorcyclists a complete recovery.

There is no question that the government agency responsible for that roadway needs to look into this winding mountain road and see how they can improve traffic safety on this roadway. Officials are asking motorists and motorcyclists to be careful while driving on winding, mountain roadways. While that is good advice, I would be curious to find out what it was about this particular road that is causing accidents.

Could the city or the government agency responsible for maintaining that roadway, install reflectors or some type of sign to warn motorists about the blind curves? Have there been other head-on collisions on that road? If so, how often do they happen? Is the city aware of this issue?

California Government Code Section 835 states that a public entity is liable for the damages of a person injured because of a condition of public property when the injured person proves the following: 1. That there was a dangerous condition on the roadway; 2. That the injury was caused by the dangerous condition; and 3. That the dangerous condition created a “reasonably foreseeable risk of injury” of the kind that occurred. If a dangerous roadway condition is believed to have played a part in these injury motorcycle accidents, then the government agency responsible for maintaining that roadway could be held liable.

An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will be of invaluable service to the injured victims in this head-on collision. A personal injury claim against a government agency must be properly filed within six months of the date of injury.

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  • Ann Wilbur

    This blog entry should be revised. As a friend of the Curtis-Portlock family, I have received information that John Vincent Portlock is deceased. He passed away on Christmas morning.

  • Catherine Curtis

    Not all parties survived the two head-on collisions. I’m very sady to report my brother in law, John Portlock, died early Christmas morning.

  • Martee

    I was searcing for more news articles on this accident. Unfortunately John Portlock did pass away, he had severe brain injuries. The other rider had veered into his lane!

  • Ron

    Its is to say that bun was familiar with this road and that John was not because John had moved to the area recently. And I sorry for there lost but we have recored this road from the bottom to the top of the hill before the accident on our bikes. and it seems when cycles are coming down the mountain they do have a tendency of crossing the line. And there are also poor road condition when it comes to falling rock and blind sides. But I feel that Mr. Bun is not at faught he was coming up the mountain while mr. portlock was coming down at a great amount of speed. Almost a year later this accident still hunt both families.

  • KnowsBetter

    Ron, Its now another two years later. John was not unfamiliar with the road. He had lived in Southern California for decades. Attempting to fault him for his own death is but mere deflection of guilt.

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