The 23-year-old man killed the morning of January 13, 2009 in a motorcycle versus car collision in a Valencia intersection in the Santa Clarita valley was identified as Peter Neptune of Lancaster, according to this CBS news report. The fatal Los Angeles County motorcycle accident apparently occurred at Wiley Canyon and Tournament Roads.
Santa Clara Valley Sheriff’s officials say Neptune was riding his motorcycle west on Wiley Canyon Road when he struck a Honda driven by 25-year-old Dejah Morris of Newhall, who had just made a left turn onto northbound Tournament Road. The impact from the crash caused the Honda to flip on its driver’s side. Neptune was taken to an area hospital where he died from his injuries. Morris was treated for minor injuries.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Peter Neptune for their tragic and untimely loss. Please keep this family in your prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there was one fatal Santa Clarita motorcycle accident and 48 motorcycle accidents involving injuries in Santa Clarita in 2006. In Los Angeles County as a whole, there were 78 motorcycle accident deaths and 2,168 injuries related to motorcycle crashes in 2006.
Based on this news report, Neptune was traveling west on Wiley Canyon Road and the collision occurred as the driver, Dejah Morris, made a left on to Tournament Road. It appears to me that the driver of the Honda was at fault, unless the motorist had a green arrow to make the turn, which I doubt was the case here.
California Vehicle Code 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.” This fatal Santa Clarita crash is an example of one of the most common types of motorcycle accidents because drivers are simply not paying attention while making that left turn or U-turn. They are just not watching for motorcycles.
Peter Neptune’s family would be well advised to seek the counsel of an experienced Southern California motorcycle accident attorney, who will help determine the facts of the case, identify the negligent parties and hold them accountable. A skilled personal injury lawyer will also look into whether a dangerous roadway or intersection may have contributed to this crash. If that is the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining that intersection could be held liable. Any claim against a California governmental agency must be filed properly within six months of the accident.