San Diego News 8 reported that five victims were fatally injured as a result of a hit-and-run auto accident on Saturday afternoon, November 13, 2010. Four motorcyclists as well as a passenger in another vehicle were killed and six others were seriously injured. The accident happened on Route 98 at around 1:00 p. m, on a remote desert two-lane highway in Ocotillo. The riders were members of a Lakeside motorcycle club who were on their way to celebrate their 10th anniversary in Yuma Arizona. Carlos Bobadilla, driving a Dodge Avenger swerved to avoid hitting a Honda Civic, whose driver was attempting to pass the group of riders. Bobadilla lost control of his vehicle, and drove his vehicle into the group of riders. Four of the motorcycle group members were killed as well as the owner of the Avenger. Six others were injured including Bobadilla who was taken to a hospital for treatment of hand fractures. The driver of the Honda, did not stop and left the scene. Bobadilla who allegedly was driving under the influence was later arrested . According to CHP officer DeeAnn Goudie it is still unclear if his alcohol consumption contributed to the accident, and thus he is only being charged with a misdemeanor at this time.
Our deepest sympathy goes out to the friends and families of those who lost their lives.
Applicable California Law
Bobadilla will face criminal charges for driving while under the influence (see my prior Blog post for California DUI law). Furthermore, if the driver of the Honda is identified, he or she will face potential felony hit and run charges (see my prior Blog post on California Hit and Run law). In addition, both drivers will be jointly and individually liable for the wrongful death and personal injuries sustained by the motorcycle riders (see my prior Blog post on California Wrongful Death law). However, due to the number of fatalities and the Honda driver having fled the scene, it is doubtful that Bobadilla, or the owner of his vehicle carry adequate liability insurance to compensate the victims and their families. Hopefully, the deceased and the injured carried enough uninsured/ underinsured coverage of their own (see my prior Blog post for California Uninsured/Under-insured law).
A celebratory motorcycle ride results in fatalities and serious injuries. Auto accidents, which cause motorcycle accidents usually result in serious injury or wrongful death. Obtaining the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial to obtaining justice for those harmed.