San Bernardino motorcycle officer Shaun Jarvis, 30, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Corona. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the fatal motorcycle crash occurred the morning of May 1, 2014, on Highway 91. California Highway Patrol officials say Jarvis was off-duty when he was riding his black Harley Davidson Softtail west in the carpool lane east of Grand Avenue. A 2012 Kia Optima driven by 29-year-old Carolina Rodriguez clipped him while switching from the fast lane to the carpool lane.
The impact from the collision pitched Jarvis over the freeway divider wall into the eastbound carpool lane where he was hit by a 2007 Toyota Corolla driven by 46-year-old Angeles Herrera. Jarvis succumbed to his injuries. The investigation is still ongoing.
I offer my deepest condolences to Jarvis’s wife and two young children, his brothers and sisters in law enforcement and community members who appreciated his service. Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers.
Motorcycle Crash Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2011 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were three fatalities and 57 injuries reported as a result of motorcycle accidents in Corona. In Riverside County as a whole, 18 people died and 533 were injured due to motorcycle crashes during the same year.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Kia Optima was the one who caused the initial impact. I trust officials are looking into whether she made an unsafe lane change clipping the officer’s Harley. California Vehicle Code section 21658 (a) states that whenever a roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic in one direction the vehicle “shall be driven as nearly as practical entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.”
If the driver of the Optima is determined to have been at fault, she could be held liable for the officer’s wrongful death. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and benefits and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer will be able to advise victims’ families in such cases regarding their legal rights and options.