San Diego Fox 5 News reported that 26-year-old Kristopher Murray of Vista died from injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident on November 12, 2011. The fatal auto accident happened at around 2:30 a.m. when Murphy was riding his Yamaha R1 motorcycle southbound on North Santa Fe Drive, allegedly at a high rate of speed. A Honda minivan traveling on Darwin Road made a left turn onto northbound North Santa Fe Drive causing Murray to run into the rear drivers side of the van. According to the Medical Examiners Office, Murray who was ejected from his motorcycle, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Our sympathy goes out to the Murray family and friends.
Applicable California Law
California Vehicle Code 21801(a) requires the driver of a vehicle intending to turn left to yield to opposing traffic, which is close enough to constitute a hazard. Thus, the driver of the van and the registered owner would be liable for any property damage as well as the wrongful death of Murray (see my prior Blog post for Wrongful Death Law In California). However, California Vehicle Code 21801(b) requires the driver of an approaching vehicle to yield to a turning vehicle, which has yielded to oncoming traffic and given a proper signal. In addition, Vehicle Code 22350 requires the driver of a vehicle to drive at a speed, which is prudent and reasonable under prevailing conditions. Therefore, if further investigation determines that Murray was driving too fast and or failed to yield to the van, then any claims made by his heirs would be reduced in proportion to his contributing to his death.
The freedom of riding a motorcycle can be exhilarating and dangerous. Auto accidents resulting in motorcycle accidents generally cause serious injuries or wrongful death. Issues of liability and damages can be complex, which is why you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney before taking any action.