Police said speed was a factor in a double-fatal motorcycle crash in Petaluma.
Police said speed was a factor in a solo motorcycle accident that killed both the driver and his passenger Sunday in Petaluma.
• Two men were riding a motorcycle when they approached a 90-degree turn in the road. The bike was traveling too fast to make the turn.
• The driver lost control of the bike and crashed into a guardrail. Both men were trapped beneath the rail. The passenger also was trapped beneath the bike itself.
• The driver died at the scene. Firefighters were able to transport the passenger, but he died from his injuries en route to the hospital.
The fatal crash occurred between 2:30 and 3 p.m., according to a report in the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.
Petaluma Police Lt. Tim Lyons said 36-year-old Vallejo resident Richard Wilton II was driving a yellow 2004 Honda CBR westbound on Magnolia Avenue at the time of the accident.
Police believe Wilton was traveling to fast to navigate the 90-degree right turn onto Gossage Avenue and lost control of the motorcycle, Lyons said.
Wilton “laid the bike down” and it slid into and then underneath a guardrail, California Highway Patrol Sgt. David Derczo told the Press-Democrat. Neighbors heard the crash and called 911.
Wilton and his passenger, 31-year-old Michael “Seamus” Taylor of Petaluma, were pinned beneath the guardrail. Firefighters had to cut away a wooden post that was supporting the guardrail in order to extricate the victims, Petaluma Fire Captain Dan Farren told Bay City News in a report published on the Petaluma Patch news site.
Wilton died at the scene.
Taylor was trapped below both Wilton’s body and the motorcycle. Taylor suffered severe injuries, including a badly broken leg. Firefighters transported him to the Level II trauma center at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital Trauma Center, but he died from his injuries on the way to the hospital, Farren said.
Both men were wearing helmets, Lyon said. Investigators were examining evidence at the scene on Monday to determine how fast the bike was traveling.
The CHP initially responded to the accident, but Petaluma police took over because it occurred within city limits.
What happens when the driver who is at fault dies in the accident?
Sometimes in a serious accident the individual who caused the crash suffers fatal injuries. Can the innocent victim still make a claim?
The answer is yes. The case survives even when the wrongdoer doesn’t. The insurance carrier for the car that the wrongdoer was driving remains liable for damages. If that policy does not have enough coverage, additional compensation may be sought via Underinsured Motorist coverage from the insurance carrier for the vehicle in which the innocent victim was a driver or passenger.
If a lawsuit is necessary, it would be filed against the estate of the wrongdoer. If there is no estate, then the injured party can force an estate to be set up to handle the lawsuit.
Petaluma Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented the families of motorcycle accident victims for 35 years. The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1-866-692-8126.
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