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Woman Killed in Manhattan Beach Motorcycle Accident

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Jennifer Lynne Jensen, 53, was killed in Los Angeles car accident after a vehicle making a U-turn struck her motorcycle, the afternoon of December 23, 2011. According to news reports in The Daily Breeze and The Easy Reader, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred at the intersection of Sepulveda Boulevard and Eighth Street in Manhattan Beach. Manhattan Beach police say a 17-year-old male driving north on Sepulveda Boulevard made a U-turn at Eighth Street just as Jensen was entering the intersection on a green light. Jensen was unable to stop in time and hit the 1997 Toyota. She was thrown off her motorcycle and landed on the roadway. Although she was wearing a helmet, Jensen suffered serious head injuries. She was transported to a local hospital where she died. Two passengers in the Toyota were also treated for injuries described as non-life-threatening.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Jennifer Lynne Jensen for their devastating loss. My heart especially goes out to her two sons. The community is apparently rallying around Shawn Jensen, 23, and his brother, 25, who is mentally disabled. Please keep this grieving family in your thoughts and prayers.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but four injuries reported due to motorcycle accidents in the city of Manhattan Beach. Throughout Los Angeles County, 83 fatalities and 2,719 injuries occurred involving motorcycle accidents, during the same year.

Right-of-Way Issues

Based on this news account, the young driver of the Toyota was making a U-turn when it collided with the motorcycle. 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.”

Fault and Liability

I trust investigators are looking into why the driver failed to yield the right-of-way to the motorcyclist, who apparently entered the intersection on a green light. Was the driver distracted, speeding, inattentive or otherwise negligent? If the driver is determined to have been at fault, he can be held liable for Jensen’s wrongful death. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, the family of a deceased motorcycle accident victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and benefits, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will better advise victims’ families in such cases about their legal rights and options.

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