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Modesto Car Accident Kills Motorcyclist


Aaron Murdaugh, 24, was killed in a Modesto car accident after his motorcycle was struck by a vehicle that was exiting a local shopping center. According to a news report in the Modesto Bee, the fatal motorcycle crash occurred the night of June 22, 2010. A 66-year-old man was leaving the shopping center from one of its north exits, driving a four-door Toyota sedan. Murdaugh was heading east on Briggsmore Avenue. The Toyota crossed the eastbound lanes of Briggsmore to make a left turn onto the westbound lanes. That was when Murdaugh’s motorcycle struck the Toyota on the driver’s side.

Modesto police say that drugs or alcohol were not factors in this crash. They believe the driver of the Toyota failed to see the approaching motorcycle. No charges have been filed pending an official investigation.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Aaron Murdaugh for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were two deaths and 55 injuries involving motorcycle accidents in Modesto. In Stanislaus County as a whole, 10 people died and 137 were injured as a result of motorcycle accidents during the same year.

Left Turn Law

Under California law, motorists intending to make a left turn or U-turn on a roadway must yield right-of-way to approaching vehicles. 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.”

Causes and Liability Issues

A number of motorcycle accidents occur when the other vehicle is making a turn. This is because, many motorists while attempting a turn, consciously look for larger vehicles such as cars, trucks or SUVs. Very often, they miss motorcycles, bicycles and sometimes, even pedestrians. In this particular case, I trust investigators are looking into a number of factors including the speed of the motorcycle at the time of the crash and the driver’s actions. Was the driver distracted, driving recklessly or otherwise negligent at the time?

In such cases, families of deceased accident victims would be well-advised to consult with an experienced Modesto personal injury lawyer, who will advise them about their legal rights and options. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.

What tips or suggestions would you offer to motorists to drive safely around motorcyclists?

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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