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Motorcyclist Killed in Silverado Car Accident


Christopher Harty, 23, was killed in a car accident in the Irvine area, after the motorcycle he was riding collided with another vehicle.

According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred the afternoon of March 21, 2014 at the intersection of Ridgeline Road and Santiago Canyon Road in Silverado Canyon.

Police say a 38-year-old woman driving a 2007 Toyota east on Ridgeline had stopped at the stop sign at Santiago Canyon and pulled out to make a left turn in front of Harty’s 2013 Aprilia motorcycle.

Harty was thrown off the bike and pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Toyota
suffered minor injuries. She was not cited or arrested. The investigation is ongoing.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Christopher Harty for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Motorcycle Crash Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2011 two fatalities and 38 injuries were reported as a result of motorcycle accidents in the unincorporated areas of Orange County. Also, countywide, 18 fatalities and 796 injuries were reported as a result of motorcycle accidents during the same year.

Right-of-Way Issues

Based on this news report, it appears that the driver had a stop sign and turned left in front of the motorcycle as it was approaching the intersection.

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.”

Fault and Liability

If the driver is determined to have been at fault, then, she could be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death. In cases where negligence is involved, families of deceased crash victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical and funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship.

An experienced Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer will also be able to determine whether a dangerous roadway condition caused or contributed to the incident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable.

Please remember that any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental agency must be filed within 180 days of the incident.

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