Francisco Rincon, 19, of Fountain Valley, was killed after his motorcycle collided with a pickup truck. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred the morning of August 22, 2013, at the intersection of West First Street and North Olive Street in Santa Ana. Police say the motorcycle collided with a Ford F-150 pickup truck. The driver was transported to a local trauma center with critical injuries and was pronounced dead several hours later.
Police say the driver of the pickup truck made U-turn from the eastbound to the westbound lanes of First Street. The driver told police he tried to stop his vehicle in the number two lane of westbound First Street as he saw Rincon approaching the intersection. But it was too late for Rincon to stop and he struck the pickup truck. Police do not believe alcohol or drugs were involved. They are also looking into who had the right-of-way at the time. No arrests or citations were reported pending an official investigation.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Francisco Rincon for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
One person was killed and 49 were injured as a result of motorcycle accidents in Santa Ana, according to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). In Orange County as a whole, 19 fatalities and 750 injuries were reported due to motorcycle collisions during the same year.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the pickup was making a U-turn on First Street when he collided with the motorcycle. It is not clear if the driver of the pickup truck yielded the right-of-way to the oncoming 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.”
If the driver in this case is determined to have been at fault, then, he could be held liable for the motorcyclist’s wrongful death. Family members of deceased accident victims in such cases can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault parties seeking compensation for damages including medical and funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Santa Ana personal injury lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families in such cases regarding their legal rights and options.