A Merced County firefighter succumbed to injuries sustain in an accident on June 9. The 29-year-old Los Banos man was off-duty when he was involved in a California motorcycle accident. He was traveling southbound on Highway 165 when a 24-year-old woman, traveling northbound attempted to make a left hand turn across the southbound lane.
The off-duty firefighter was unable to slow down sufficiently to avoid a collision with the turning vehicle. The 2012 Jeep the woman was driving and the firefighter’s motorcycle slammed into each other. Sources indicate the 29-year-old motorcyclist died from his injuries in the crash last week at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto.
The media has carried numerous stories in recent years regarding issues such as distracted driving. Cell phone use behind the wheel has become prevalent in California, as across the country. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has made numerous public announcements and pleas to auto manufacturers to increase public awareness regarding distracted driving.
In some cases distracted driving may only be a piece of the puzzle. The June 9 motorcycle accident involving the off-duty firefighter reportedly may have involved distracted driving, and then some.
Authorities say the 24-year-old woman driving the Jeep was talking on her cell phone as she made the turn in front of the firefighters motorcycle. What is more, the woman was arrested after the accident on suspicion of driving under the influence. Authorities say the woman was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana when the June 9 accident occurred.
Motorcycle accidents are unfortunately all too common in California. Family members of victims of a fatal accident may be able to recover in a wrongful death action in California. San Francisco wrongful death attorneys know that incidents or accidents involving wrongful conduct or gross negligence that result in death of a loved-one are among the most tragic of accident cases. However, strict time limits are involved in the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in California.
Source: Modesto Bee, “Merced firefighter dies of injuries from crash,” 17 Jun 2011