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Paramedic Fatally Struck by Driver Making Illegal U-Turn in Palm Springs


Edward Lustro, 34, a paramedic with American Medical Response, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Palm Springs after officials say a driver made an illegal U-turn. According to a KTLA news report, Lustro had just completed a 12-hour shift when the crash occurred on the Gene Autry Trail north of Seven Lakes Drive the morning of March 18. The other motorist, identified only as a 54-year-old Palm Springs man, remained at the scene after the collision.

Police said Lustro was traveling left of the Honda driver when the latter who had been heading in the same direction, made an illegal U-turn. The two vehicles collided. Lustro died at the scene. A procession of paramedics followed Lustro’s body as it was transported away from the scene. Police don’t suspect the involvement of alcohol or drugs. No arrests or citations were reported. The investigation is ongoing.

We offer our deepest condolences to Lustro’s family’s, friends and colleagues who are all grieving his sudden and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2015 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were two fatalities and 23 injuries reported in the city of Palm Springs as a result of motorcycle accidents. In Riverside County as a whole, 41 people died and 789 were injured due to motorcycle accidents during the same year.

What the Law States

Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Honda struck Lustro’s motorcycle while making an illegal U-turn. The law requires motorists to exercise caution while making left turns or U-turns. In this case we trust officials are still attempting to determine what caused the driver to make that unlawful U-turn.

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.”

In such cases, families of deceased victims may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship. An experienced Riverside motorcycle accident lawyer will be able to help victims’ families better understand their legal rights and options.


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