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San Diego DUI Collision Kills Motorcyclist


A motorcyclist was killed in a San Diego car accident after he was struck by a suspected drunk driver the afternoon of March 19, 2010. According to a news report in The San Diego Union-Tribune, the 36-year-old man was riding a motorcycle south on Florida Drive. A 2005 Volvo sedan traveling east on Zoo Place hit the motorcycle as the car’s driver tried to make a left turn on to Florida. The rider was thrown to the ground and run over, moments later, by another vehicle that was southbound on Florida. Both drivers stopped. The driver of the Volvo that initially struck the motorcyclist was arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter.

I offer my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of this motorcyclist. This grieving family will certainly be in my prayers.

Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 16 deaths and 355 fatalities involving motorcycle accidents in San Diego. Also, in the city of San Diego, DUI collisions claimed 34 lives and injured 907 people in 2008.

Car Accident Laws

If the details of this news report are accurate, it appears that the driver of the Volvo may have been under the influence when he struck the motorcyclist. Drunk driving is a serious crime under California law. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.” A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code section 191.5 (a).

Also, in this fatal motorcycle accidents the Volvo’s driver struck the motorcyclist as he was making a left turn, raising right-of-way issues. 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.”

Liability Issues

The victim’s family here would be well-advised to seek the counsel of an experienced San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer, who will stay on top of the official investigation and make sure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will also be able to advise victims’ families about how their own car insurance policy applies to an incident involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.

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