Fatal San Diego Motorcycle Accident
Kenneth Charles Sully, a 58-year-old Pacific Beach man, was killed in a San Diego motorcycle accident the morning of April 6, 2009, according to reports in the San Diego Union-Tribune and the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Web site. Sully was riding his 2009 Ducati motorcycle northbound on Pacific Highway when the driver of a 2006 Toyota Corolla going south on Pacific Coast Highway made a left turn at Cedar Street in front of the motorcyclist. Sully sustained severe motorcycle head injuries although he was wearing a helmet. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman driver of the Corolla was uninjured.
I offer my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Kenneth Charles Sully for their terrible loss. Please keep them in your prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 traffic accident statistics, there were 12 motorcycle accident fatalities and 293 injuries involving motorcycle accidents in San Diego. In San Diego County as a whole, there were 50 deaths and 985 injuries involving motorcycle accident during the same period.
In this case, based on the newspaper report, it appears that Sully had the right of way and the driver of the Toyota Corolla did not. It seems to me that she was at fault here and should be held liable for the accident and resulting injuries and damages. I would be interested to find out how she missed Sully although this is an extremely common occurrence. A number of people who drive passenger vehicles don’t look for motorcycles at intersections.
California Vehicle Code section 21801 (a) states the following requirements for drivers making a left turn or a U-turn: “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.”
This fatal San Diego motorcycle crash is an example of one of the most common types of motorcycle accidents because drivers of larger vehicles such as a passenger car or truck are simply not paying attention while making a left turn or U-turn. The family of Kenneth Charles Sully would be well-advised to seek the counsel of an experienced San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer who will help hold the negligent parties accountable. A skilled California personal injury lawyer will also look into whether a dangerous roadway or intersection may have contributed to this crash. If that is the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining that intersection could be held liable. Any claim against a California governmental agency must be filed properly within six months of the accident.