David Ladue, 18, of Rancho Santa Margarita, was killed in a Lake Forest motorcycle accident after he was struck by a left-turning vehicle the night of April 17, 2017. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal crash occurred at the intersection of Trabuco Road and Rimhurst Drive near El Toro Memorial Park. Officials said the Yamaha motorcycle collided with a Hyundai carrying three people including a 2-year-old girl.
The Hyundai was traveling southbound and was attempting a left turn onto Rimhurst when the crash occurred. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The girl, the 30-year-old driver of the Hyundai and another male passenger were uninjured. Police do not believe alcohol or drugs were factors. An investigation is still ongoing.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of David Ladue for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2013 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one person died and 19 were injured as a result of motorcycle accidents in the city of Lake Forest. In Orange County as a whole, 30 fatalities and 989 injuries were reported due to motorcycle accidents during the same year.
Left Turn Law
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Hyundai struck the motorcycle when she was making or attempting to make a left turn. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one-third of all motorcycle accidents nationwide occur when the driver is making a left turn.
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.”
In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is a factor, in such cases, families of deceased victims can seek compensation for their losses by filing what is known as a wrongful death claim. Such claims seek compensation or damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Orange County motorcycle accident attorney will be able to advise victims’ families regarding their legal rights and options.