Ian Lopez, 18, was killed in a Huntington Beach motorcycle accident after his cycle collided with a pickup truck that pulled in front of him, The Orange County Register reports in this article. Lopez was apparently riding his motorcycle south on Goldenwest the evening of February 26, 2009 when a silver Toyota 4Runner pulled out from Tucana Drive, Huntington Beach police officials said. Lopez was unable to avoid the collision and crashed into the pickup. Ian Lopez was wearing a helmet, but he suffered critical injuries. He was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police have not yet cited or arrested the driver of the 4Runner.
My heart goes out to the family of young Ian Lopez for their tragic loss. I offer my deepest sympathies to everyone who knew and loved Lopez. Please keep them in your prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2006 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (SWITRS), there was one motorcycle accident fatality and 60 injuries involving motorcycle crashes in Huntington Beach. During the same year, in Orange County as a whole, 26 deaths and 730 injuries were reported as a result of motorcycle accidents.
In this case, if the newspaper article is accurate, the driver of the Toyota 4Runner turned from a smaller street into a major roadway without looking to see whether there were any approaching vehicles. Unfortunately, these types of collisions often occur with motorcycles because when drivers of cars or other passenger vehicles are waiting to enter a roadway, they look for bigger vehicles. But often, they don’t look for motorcycles, bicycles or pedestrians. That can have tragic consequences as in this Huntington Beach motorcycle accident.
I trust Huntington Beach police traffic investigators are looking into whether the driver of the 4Runner was under the influence of alcohol or drugs during this accident. Whether or not the driver was impaired at the time of the crash, he or she could still be held liable for the accident and fatal injuries caused to Ian Lopez if it is determined that the driver was not paying attention or was driving recklessly.
Ian Lopez’s family would be well-advised to retain the services of an experienced Huntington Beach motorcycle accident attorney, who will help determine the facts of this case and have the negligent parties held accountable for their actions. A skilled Orange County personal injury attorney will also be able to look into whether a dangerous roadway condition may have contributed to this tragic accident. If that was the case, then the city of Huntington Beach or the governmental agency responsible for maintaining that roadway could also be held liable. According to California Government Code, any claim against a governmental agency must be properly filed within six months of the accident