Frank Hendricks, 54, was seriously injured in a Ventura motorcycle accident the evening of July 14, 2009 when a car ran over him after it was rear-ended, the Ventura County Star reports. The motorcycle crash occurred near Thompson Boulevard and Santa Cruz Street. Hendricks was stopped on eastbound Thompson waiting to turn his motorcycle left onto Santa Cruz when a motorist failed to stop for traffic and hit the car stopped behind Hendricks. The stopped car was then pushed forward into Hendricks, who fell off his motorcycle and onto the car’s hood and was then run over by the car.
Hendricks was trapped under the car, but soon rescued by a group of witnesses who lifted the car off him, Ventura police officials said. Hendricks was transported to an area hospital where he is said to be in stable condition. Police say the 48-year-old man who struck the car behind Hendricks and caused the chain reaction collision was traveling too fast for road conditions. The man was not cited or arrested pending the ongoing investigation.
My heart goes out to the injured motorcyclist, Frank Hendricks, who was clearly the victim in this case. I’m relieved that he did not suffer critical injuries in this car crash. It could have been a lot worse but for the Good Samaritans who lifted the car off Hendricks right away. I hope and pray Hendricks makes a quick and complete recovery.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 15 injuries in Ventura that involved motorcycle accidents. In Ventura County as a whole, five deaths and 210 injuries were reported in 2007 as a result of motorcycle accidents.
Based on this newspaper report, it appears that the driver of the car that rear-ended the other vehicle, which in turn slammed into Hendricks’ motorcycle, is at-fault here. California Vehicle Code Section 22350 requires that “no person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property. ”
It seems to me this driver was traveling too fast for existing traffic conditions. That may have occurred because he was distracted or simply driving recklessly. I trust officials are also looking into whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Hendricks would be well-advised to seek the counsel of an experienced California personal injury lawyer, who will analyze all aspects of the case and make sure that the negligent or at-fault party is held accountable. In such cases, the victim may seek compensation for medical expenses, cost of hospitalization, loss of wages, future treatment or even long-term care in case of catastrophic injury.