A 55-year-old Simi Valley man was killed in an Oxnard motorcycle accident the morning of April 30, 2006 after his motorcycle collided with a car, the Ventura County Star reports. The driver of the car, 36-year-old Paul Fulton, was about to get off the 101 at the Vineyard Avenue exit when he saw cabbage on the roadway and hit the brakes of his 2000 Mitsubishi Diamante, California Highway Patrol officials said.
The Oxnard car-motorcycle accident happened when Fulton lost control of his car and swerved across traffic lanes and ended up facing the wrong way in the fast lane just as the motorcyclist was approaching. The man could not stop his motorcycle in time and slammed into the Mitsubishi. The impact sent the motorcyclist flying into the center median. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Fulton suffered minor personal injuries.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends who knew the motorcycle accident victim. My heart goes out to everyone who knew and loved this man. Please keep them in your prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were no fatalities but eight injuries were reported in Oxnard involving motorcycle accidents. In all of Ventura County, five fatalities and 210 injuries involving motorcycle accidents were reported in 2007.
Based on this news report, the driver, Paul Fulton, swerved his car to avoid debris on the freeway, in this case, cabbage. It is not clear how much cabbage had been spilled on the roadway. I trust CHP officials are looking into identifying who spilled the load of vegetables onto the roadway and also whether Fulton could have done a better job of steering clear of the debris. The California State Department of Transportation (Caltrans) estimates that 140,000 cubic yards of debris is dumped on California’s roadways each year. Highway debris has caused 155 California car accident deaths in the last two years.
The family of the deceased motorcyclist would be well advised to consult with an experienced California car accident lawyer, who will help determine the facts and identify the negligent parties in this case. In my opinion, along with the person who dropped the debris on the roadway, Fulton may be partially liable as well. The victim’s family may also be able to collect compensation from the “uninsured/underinsured motorist” provision of their car insurance policy. A knowledgeable California personal injury lawyer will be able to tell them how their car insurance will apply to a roadway debris incident.