Erick Alcaraz, a 24-year-old LAPD officer was killed in a motorcycle accident in Torrance when he was off-duty.
According to a KTLA news report, the fatal motorcycle crash occurred the evening of September 6 2014 at South Western Avenue and West 234th Street near the border of Torrance and Harbor City.
Alcaraz was traveling south on Western at the time of the crash while the other vehicle was traveling eastbound making a left turn from 234th onto Western.
Alcaraz succumbed to his injuries. The incident is under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Torrance Police Department’s Traffic Division at 310-618-5557.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of Erick Alcaraz as well as his friends and colleagues in the force. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Alcaraz has apparently been with the department for 18 months and finished his one-year probationary period at the department’s Southwest Patrol Division on the day of the crash.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2011 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 28 injuries reported as a result of motorcycle accidents in Torrance.
In Los Angeles County as a whole, 88 people died and 3,024 were injured due to motorcycle accidents during the same year.
A number of motorcycle accidents occur when other vehicles are making left turns. Drivers often fail to yield the right of way to motorcyclists because they fail to see oncoming motorcycles.
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.”
Fault and Liability
In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased accident victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages such as medical and funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship.
Victims’ families would also be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.