Mitch Monroe, 22, of Linda, California, was seriously injured in a Roseville motorcycle accident on Sept. 27, according to an article in The Appeal-Democrat. The car versus motorcycle collision occurred at the intersection of Oswald and Carson roads when Sutter County Sheriff’s Deputy John Miller’s patrol cruiser crashed into Monroe’s dark blue Suzuki.
California Highway Patrol officials say 59-year-old Miller headed north on Carson through the intersection after he had looked for traffic and “didn’t see any.” He drove his cruiser into the path of Monroe’s motorcycle, which was headed west on Oswald. Monroe was wearing a helmet, CHP officials said. Monroe reportedly suffered a broken leg and other injuries. A neighbor who apparently saw the crash happen told the paper that Miller was stopped at the stop sign before the collision. Monroe was traveling on Oswald, which does not have a stop sign at Carson for east-west traffic.
This is an extremely unfortunate accident. It just goes to show how even professionals and a veteran police officer such as Deputy John Miller can make such a tragic traffic error. Like many motorists responsible for motorcycle accidents, his “internal radar” was probably looking for cars and trucks. He was not consciously looking for motorcycles and bicycles. Just like any “on the job” driver, Deputy Miller, the Sheriff’s Department and Sutter County are going to be financially liable for Monroe’s injuries.
Mitch Monroe and his family may be well-served getting a skilled California motorcycle accident attorney on this case quickly. They would be well advised not to discuss anything with anyone until they are represented. That includes signing documents as well. Accidents involving peace officers can be tricky sometimes, especially if the offending agency is investigating the accident themselves. The question is: Is Deputy Miller’s department handling the investigation or is the California Highway Patrol?
Monroe may want to seek a personal injury lawyer outside of Sutter County to avoid local politics, the “good ole boy” syndrome and any perceived conflicts of interest.
Local attorneys may decline a case against one of their local deputies or against their own county.