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Man Killed in Covina Motorcycle Accident Involving City Truck


David Antonio Hernandez, 21, was killed in a motorcycle accident, which officials say involved a city truck driven by a city public works employee. According to a news report in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the fatal collision occurred the afternoon of February 25, 2016 along San Bernardino Road at Prospero Drive. Coroner’s officials determined that Hernandez died from multiple blunt-force trauma.

Police say the rider was heading east on San Bernardino Road when his Harley-Davidson Sportster collided with a city-owned Ford F-250 pickup truck driven by a 54-year-old employee of the Covina Public Works Department. The pickup truck was northbound on Prospero Drive when the two vehicles collided at the intersection. Hernandez was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of this fatal collision remains under investigation.

Traffic Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2013 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatal accidents, but 77 injuries reported as a result of traffic accidents in the city of Covina. In Los Angeles County as a whole, 585 deaths and 50,917 injuries were reported as a result of traffic accidents during the same year.

Potential Stop Sign Violation?

Based on this news report, it appears that the rider was heading east on San Bernardino and the pickup truck was northbound on Prospero. There’s a stop sign for northbound traffic on Prospero, which means traffic must stop and yield the right of way to traffic on San Bernardino. There are no stop signs for traffic on San Bernardino. We trust officials are looking into whether the driver of the pickup truck failed to yield to the motorcycle.

California law requires drivers to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and proceed with caution. According to California Vehicle Code section 21802 (a): “The driver of any vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance to, or within, an intersection shall stop as required by Section 22450. The driver shall then yield the right-of-way to any vehicles which have approached from another highway, or which are approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to those vehicles until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety.”

Liability Issues

In this particular case, if the city employee failed to yield the right of way to the motorcyclist, the family of the deceased victim might be able to file a wrongful death claim not only against the driver, but also his employer, the city, since he appears to have been on the job, operating a city-owned vehicle. In such cases, families of deceased victims should file a notice of claim within 180 days of the incident. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled claims against governmental entities will be able to help victims’ families file such a claim in a timely manner and assist them with securing fair compensation for their significant losses.

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