Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

The number of local Marines killed while riding motorcycles decreased for the first time in three years. The decrease is the result of new safety classes made available to Marines at Camp Pendleton and Miramar Air Force Base. In particular, the Marines are targeting those who ride sport bikes which are lightweight, powerful and popular with younger riders. The course teaches practical skills and mental training according to Richard Stampp, who works with Camp Fox Professional Services which designed and delivers the new course. The Marines have made the new course more accessible, and riders don’t have to wait to get into the course. At both Miramar and Camp Pendleton, riders can enroll very soon after signing up for it. As another means to promote safety, the Marines are encouraging more experienced riders to act as mentors for those with less experience. The mentors hold monthly rides and demonstrate safe riding techniques. Marine leaders are committed to training riders and helping them avoid injury and death.

Source: North County Times.

Walton Law Firm, a North San Diego County law firm, represents accident victims throughout San Diego, Orange and Riverside Counties and has recovered millions of dollars for individuals injured by car accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, uninsured motorist claims, defective products, construction accidents, slip and fall injuries, dog bites, insurance disputes, and medical malpractice suits. Call (760) 571-5500 for a free consultation.

A major injury can cause major financial burdens, particularly at Christmas time. In San Diego County, there are a few non-profit charitable organizations founded by injured individuals and their families that are there to help. The Can’t Keep Me Down foundation, founded by Bobby DuCharme of Mira Mesa who was paralyzed in a surfing accident, and the Del Mar foundation HeadNorth, founded by Eric Northbrook, who was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident, have stepped up big time.

In today’s Union Tribune are stories of local families who face the arduous task of caring for someone who has suffered a serious injury. For example, Maria Rodriguez was having a tough year and an event tougher Christmas. She cares for her 15-year-old son, who was rendered quadriplegic in an accident, when the transmission on the transport van failed. Then the home she was renting was foreclosed upon, forcing her to move. The events drained her savings.

That’s when the Can’t Keep Me Down foundation entered the scene. The DuCharme family filled the Rodriguez’ living room with a big television, clothes, toys, and holiday decorations. The HeadNorth foundation added to the giving with furniture and a Christmas tree.

Joaquin de Lara, a 51-year-old motorcyclist, was traveling westbound around the 7900 block of Airway Road in Otay Mesa when an eastbound driver of an SUV turned left directly in to de Lara’s path. Witnesses say that de Lara collided with the SUV at a high rate of speed, and died at the scene due to the impact.

According to reports, the driver of the SUV purported told investigators that the sun was in his eyes at the time of the accident, and did not see de Lara’s motorcycle. De Lara worked in the area and resided in Tijuana with his wife.

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The National Traffic Safety Administration is out with a study on traffic safety, and reporting that fatalities caused by traffic accidents were down 7% this year from the same period last year, and down 18% since 2005. It is unclear what’s behind the drop, but several possibilities were suggested. People may be spending less time behind the wheel because of the economic recession. More probably is the increased use in seat belts. The report states that 84% of drivers are now consistently using seat belts, a record.

Car safety is also given attribution to the declining death rates. As older vehicles are replaced with new cars that have air bags, modern braking systems, and stability-control, the car accident death rates were expected to improve. While the number of car accident death is still very large – 16,626 already this year – the trend is encouraging.

We still have far too many families losing their loved ones every day in this country from distracted driving, drunk driving and not using their seat belt,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.

A terrible story out of Ramona this evening, where a motorcycle rider lost his life after being hit by the negligent driver of a rental car. According to reports, the driver was unlicensed.

The unlicensed driver was driving a 2007 Dodge Caliber westbound on Hanson Lane when she stopped, then attempted to make a U-turn. She didn’t see 46-year-old Mark Taylor, who was riding his Honda motorcycle. The front of the rental car clipped Taylor’s bike, sending him into the road. He suffered major injuries and died at the scene of the crash.

Many questions remain about this accident, and CHP is continuing its investigation. The big question is how does an unlicensed driver end up behind the wheel of a rental car. Presumably rentals can only be made to licensed drivers. Second, why is the woman unlicensed? Did she have a license that was taken away for reasons related to her ability to drive? According the news article, criminal charges may be made against the woman.

A 65-year-old Poway motorcycle rider died Sunday when he struck a vehicle that had stalled on Interstate 15 in Escondido. According to reports, the man was riding northbound on a Honda CBR, near Via Rancho Parkway, when he struck the rear end of a Volkswagen Jetta. It is not clear in what part of the free way the Jetta was stalled.

The man was wearing a helmet at the time, and was taken to Palomar Medical Center where he died.

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When it became clear that young Marines were dying at an alarming rate in motorcycle accidents, Marine Corp leaders created safety courses for riders to build riding skills and safety awareness. According to reports, those courses have apparently not worked as there have already been seven Marines killed in motorcycle accidents this year, the same amount as this time last year.

Despite the number of fatalities, officials hope that the new safety program will start to show its effectiveness by the end of summer. Those who have participated in the safety course, Marine leaders say, have already become safer riders.

The Marine Corp has regular safety courses, including “track days” that allow riders to ride on a designated course at top speeds in a controlled environment. They also invite professional riders, and motorcycle schools to the base to discuss rider safety.

A San Marcos woman riding her scooter died after being cut off by negligent driver. The 59-year-old woman was traveling east on South Santa Fe Avenue early Saturday afternoon when she was struck by a small car as she traveled through Mar Vista Drive. According to reports, the car was attempting to turn left into a convenience store when it struck the woman.

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department is investigating the accident, and no arrests have been made.

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RAMONA, CA – A 25-year-old mother was killed yesterday on Route 67 after her car was struck by out of control racers. Alexandria Drake of Chula Vista was driving her Volvo near Quail Rock Road when she was struck by a speeding Jaguar that had veered into oncoming traffic.

According to witnesses, the Jaguar was a racing a white Mercedes Benz when it lost control. Several other cars and a motorcycle crashed when trying to avoid the Jaguar, which also crashed. In addition to the fatality, three other people suffered injuries, including the driver of the Jaguar. Ms. Drake’s three-month old child was strapped in the backseat and was not hurt.

Police are trying to identify the driver of the white Mercedes, who did not stop. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the CHP at (619) 401-2000.

A dramatic car accident on southbound SR 163 claimed the life of a motorcyclist. According to witnesses, an unidentified pickup truck abruptly changed lanes, cutting off a Ford Ranger pickup, causing it to lose control and veer across lanes and into another car. The Ranger then careened into a motorcyclist, throwing the rider over the center divider and into northbound traffic where he was struck by a car and killed.

The accident occurred at around 4:45 p.m. near the Kearney Villa Road exit. The pickup that started the chain of events did not stop.

The rider of the motorcycle was identified as Michael Anthony Freitas of Riverside.

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