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San Diego County Motorcycle Accident Kills Off-Duty Police Officer

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Larry W. Steward, 49, an off-duty San Diego police detective was killed in a motorcycle accident after he was struck head-on by a sport utility vehicle. According to this news report, the motorcycle crash occurred the morning of February 20, 2009 when Steward was riding east on State Route 94 in the Engineer Springs area. An oncoming Dodge Durango swerved into his path near Marron Valley Road, California Highway Patrol officials said.

Steward, a resident of San Diego, was pronounced dead shortly after the crash. The driver of the SUV, 77-year-old Jose De Jesus Garcia-Gomez of Tecate, Mexico was booked into county jail on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter.

My heart goes out to the family, friends and co-workers of Larry Steward for their heartbreaking loss. I offer my deepest sympathies to everyone who knew and loved this man. Please keep them in your prayers.

According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, in 2006, there were 37 San Diego motorcycle accident fatalities and 1,054 injuries relating to motorcycle crashes in San Diego County. Nationwide, the number of motorcycle accidents has been steadily increasing over the last five years especially in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.

In this case, it seems to me that the driver of the Dodge Durango, Garcia-Gomez, was at fault. He apparently veered into the path of Steward’s motorcycle causing the head-on collision. The news report does not state whether Garcia-Gomez was driving under the influence at the time of the accident, but he has been charged with vehicular manslaughter – possibly for reckless driving. Garcia-Gomez should be held civilly and criminally responsible for the accident and fatal injuries caused.

Larry Steward’s family would be well-advised to retain the services of a reputed

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