Douglas Donnell Brown, 49, was killed in a San Bernardino motorcycle accident after a car made a left turn in front of him, the San Bernardino Sun reports. Brown was riding a black 2008 Harley-Davidson west on Yucca Trail the evening of August 17, 2009 in Yucca Valley, California, when the driver of a 2009 Ford Flex made a left turn in front of him at Indio Avenue, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials said. The Ford driver, who was identified only as a 39-year-old woman from Joshua tree, had been driving east on Yucca Trail before the motorcycle-car collision. Brown died after he was taken to an area hospital.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Douglas Donnell Brown for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your prayers.
San Bernardino Car Accident Statistics
According to the 2007 California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no deaths, but eight injuries, involving motorcycle accidents in Yucca Valley. In San Bernardino County as a whole, 28 deaths and 627 injuries were reported as a result of motorcycle accidents in 2007.
Based on this newspaper report, it appears that the motorcyclist, Brown, had the right-of-way at the intersection. In such California car accidents, the most important factor to look into is who had the right-of-way at the time of the accident. I trust San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials are investigating that important detail. I trust they are also looking into whether the driver of the Ford was intoxicated, distracted or otherwise reckless or negligent at the time of this fatal car accident.
California Car Accident Law
California Vehicle Code section 21801 (a) states the following requirements for drivers making a left turn or a U-turn: “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.” Of course, this applies when a left turn is legal and permitted on a roadway.
Douglas Donnell Brown’s family would be well-advised to retain the services of an experienced California personal injury lawyer, who will carefully examine all aspects of this accident and help determine whether there was any negligence or wrongdoing involved. If that was the case, the negligent parties should be held liable. If a dangerous intersection caused or contributed to this car accident, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining that roadway could also be held liable. Such claims against governmental agencies in California must be properly filed within 180 days of the accident or injury.
Families of deceased car accident victims may be able to file wrongful death claims against a negligent party. Such claims usually compensate these families for medical/funeral expenses, loss of earnings, loss of love and companionship and other related damages. Please consult with a reputed car accident law firm to find out more about your legal rights and options. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free and comprehensive initial consultation to victims and their families.