A 23-year-old man identified as Richard B. Williams was killed in a Costa Mesa motorcycle accident after an SUV struck him at a street intersection.
According to a news report in the Orange County Register, the fatal crash involving the motorcycle and a Jeep Cherokee occurred at the intersection of Walnut Street and Santa Ana Avenue the evening of September 2, 2014.
Officials say a 29-year-old man was driving his Jeep east on Walnut Street across Santa Ana Avenue when Williams who was traveling southbound
struck the driver’s side of the vehicle. Williams was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the Jeep remained at the scene and talked to investigators. No citations or arrests were reported. The investigation is ongoing.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of Richard Williams. Our legal practice has represented a number of motorcycle accident victims and families that have lost loved ones. We understand what a difficult and confusing time this can be for them. They will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Motorcycle Crash Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2011 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were two fatalities and 19 injuries reported as a result of motorcycle accidents in the city of Costa Mesa.
In Orange County as a whole, 18 people died and 796 were injured due to motorcycle accidents during the same year.
Failure to Stop at Stop Sign?
Based on this news report, it appears that the crash occurred at an intersection where there is a two-way stop sign.
Traffic on Walnut Avenue must stop at the stop sign and yield the right-of-way to vehicles traveling on Santa Ana Avenue. In this particular case, it is not clear if the Jeep’s driver stopped at the stop sign.
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.”
Fault and Liability
If the driver in this case is determined to have been at fault, he could be held civilly liable for the victim’s wrongful death in addition to potentially facing other types of charges or citations.
In cases where negligence is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver seeking compensation for damages such as medical and funeral expenses, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship.
An experienced personal injury attorney in Costa Mesa will be able to advise victims’ families in such cases regarding their legal rights and options.