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Orange County Motorcycle Crash Kills Teen


Authorities have identified the 17-year-old who died in an Anaheim motorcycle accident on October 27, 2008 as Brenden Shanks. According to this report in The Orange County Register, Shanks was on a green Kawasaki motorcycle traveling west on Santa Ana Canyon Road in Anaheim Hills when an eastbound gray Chrysler Sebring made a left turn onto Maude Lane in front of him.

Shanks, who was wearing a helmet, was critically injured in the 10/27/08 street intersection crash. He was transported to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana but died shortly after being admitted. The driver of the Sebring apparently was unhurt in the incident.

I offer my deepest sympathies to the family of young Brenden Shanks. Please keep them in your prayers.

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.”

Anaheim Police Department have not yet determined if speed was a factor in the crash. The cause of this fatal motorcycle collision is still under investigation. Based on this newspaper account, I’d bet that the driver of the Sebring was at fault for failing to yield right of way to through traffic. The driver most likely did not see the approaching motorcycle. This is a common occurrence in these types of accidents.

Shanks’ family will have substantial rights to compensation if the driver of the Sebring is determined to be at fault. There is also the possibility that there was a dangerous condition on the roadway that could have been a factor in this accident. If that is the case, the City of Anaheim could be held liable. Please remember, that any claim against the city needs to be filed within six months of the accident.

It is in the best interest of Shanks’ family to consult a skilled Orange County motorcycle accident attorney without delay. An expert personal injury law firm will help them find out what their rights and options are in this case. If Brenden Shanks’ family members eventually want to pursue their rights, it is very important that they preserve the motorcycle for an expert to promptly examine it for all types of evidence including product defects and mechanical problems.

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