Stephen Jackson Steiner, 25, who was critically injured in a San Bernardino motorcycle accident August 29, 2009, has died from his injuries. According to a news report in The Press Enterprise, Steiner was traveling eastbound on Mojave Drive in Victorville when he collided with an SUV that was turning onto Amethyst Road. Steiner was then airlifted to a local hospital. The fatal crash is still under investigation.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Stephen Jackson Steiner for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. My heart goes out to everyone who knew and loved this young man. Please keep them in your prayers.
San Bernardino Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there was one fatality and 16 injuries involving motorcycle accidents in Victorville, California. In San Bernardino County as a whole, 28 fatalities and 627 injuries were reported in 2007 as a result of motorcycle accidents.
Based on this news report, it is not exactly clear how or why this fatal California car accident occurred. The news report says Steiner may have been speeding. However, in this case, it would be important to look into who had the right-of-way at that intersection. If the motorcycle rider had the right-of-way, then the driver of the SUV could be held liable for Steiner’s fatal injuries.
A number of recent motorcycle versus car accidents occur because passenger vehicles make illegal left or U-turns in front of motorcyclists. We do not know if that is what occurred in this incident. But California law is very specific about the requirements for drivers making a left turn or a U-turn.
California Car Accident Law
California Vehicle Code section 21801 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.”
In such cases, victims and/or their families would be well advised to consult with an experienced California personal injury lawyer who will analyze all aspects of the car crash and make sure the victims’ and their families’ rights are protected. A skilled car accident lawyer will also look into whether there was a dangerous condition on the roadway or intersection, which may have caused or contributed to the fatal car collision. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining that roadway could be held liable as well. Please remember that any claim against a California governmental entity should be filed within six months of the accident or injury.