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Motorcyclist Killed in North Hollywood DUI Hit-and-Run Collision


A motorcyclist was fatally injured in a North Hollywood car accident, which officials say, was caused by a suspected drunk driver who fled the scene.

According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the fatal motorcycle collision occurred when Austin Michael Clay, 29, was driving a 2007 Toyota Camry north on Lankershim Boulevard at Magnolia Boulevard and made a left turn into the path of a southbound Yamaha motorcycle.

Police say the Toyota
did not stop, but continued west on Magnolia Boulevard as it was being tailed by witnesses. The Toyota stopped and the passenger, Stephanie Hernandez, switched positions with Clay according to witness statements. The Toyota was stopped by a citizen who detained the occupants until police arrived. The motorcyclist died from his injuries. Clay was booked on suspicion of DUI and hit-and-run. Anyone who saw the crash is asked to contact 818-644-8022.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of this deceased motorcyclist. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Crash Data

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2011 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 35 fatalities and 1,441 injuries were reported as a result of motorcycle crashes in Los Angeles. Countywide, 88 people died and 3,024 were injured due to motorcycle collisions during the same year.

Violation of Laws

Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Toyota Camry made a left-hand turn in front of the motorcycle causing the collision. In addition, the driver fled the scene of the crash and was determined to have been under the influence. It is illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a) to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. It is also against the law to leave the scene of an injury or fatal accident (California Vehicle Code 20001). We commend those Good Samaritans who followed the hit-and-run suspect in this case and helped police officials arrest him.

Compensation for Victims’ Families

In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will also be able to advise victims’ families regarding how the uninsured motorist clause of their own auto insurance policy might apply to an incident where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.

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