Keith Westhaver, 28, was killed in a San Bernardino car accident after his motorcycle was struck by a Ford Expedition making a U-turn, the morning of September 20, 2011. According to a news report in The Press Enterprise, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred on Highway 138 in Phelan. Westhaver was riding a Honda 600RR motorcycle on the highway when the Ford made a U-turn in front of him. The motorcycle and the SUV collided and Westhaver was ejected. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. It is not clear if the SUV’s driver will be cited in connection with this fatal collision.
I offer my deepest condolences to the friends and family of Keith Westhaver following this tragic motorcycle accident. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), nine people were killed and 170 were injured due to motorcycle accidents in the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County. During the same year, 32 fatalities and 450 injuries occurred involving San Bernardino County motorcycle accidents.
What Caused This Fatal Motorcycle Crash?
Based on this news report, the driver of the Ford Expedition made a U-turn on the highway in slowing traffic conditions and ahead of the motorcyclist. 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 of the SUV is determined to have been at fault here then he or she could be held liable for Westhaver’s wrongful death. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased car accident victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, loss of love and companionship, and other damages. Families would be well-advised to retain the services of an experienced San Bernardino personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and make sure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.