Tracy Gage, 56, was killed in a Moreno Valley car accident after his bicycle was rear-ended by another vehicle. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the fatal bicycle accident occurred the afternoon of September 12, 2013, when Gage was riding north between Krameria Avenue and Northern Dancer Drive. Gage was hit by a blue Toyota Corolla, which was also heading north. Gage suffered critical injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Toyota was identified as 19-year-old Steven Gomez of Perris. Officials do not believe that alcohol or drugs were a factor. Anyone who saw this accident is asked to contact local police at 951-486-6900. The investigation is ongoing.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Tracy Gage for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 31 injuries involving bicycle accidents in Moreno Valley. In Riverside County as a whole, eight fatalities and 332 injuries were reported due to bicycle collisions during the same year.
What Caused This Crash?
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Toyota rear-ended the bicyclist. Officials say alcohol or drugs were not a factor. There are still several unanswered questions here. Was the young driver distracted or inattentive at the time of the collision? Was the driver speeding or driving recklessly? Did the teen driver fail to yield the right-of-way to the bicyclist? Under California law, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles.
Fault and Liability
If it is determined that the driver was at fault, then, he can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death. Families of deceased victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer who will also be able to determine whether a dangerous roadway condition caused or contributed to the incident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental agency must be filed within six months of the incident.