Motorized Bicycle Kills Pedestrian on H Street

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April 01, 2019
Edward Smith

Motorized Bicycle Kills Pedestrian on H Street

A motorized bicycle accident on March 26 claimed the life of a pedestrian. The accident happened along H Street close to San Miguel Way about 4:45 in the afternoon. The Sacramento Police Department reported that the pedestrian, age 72, was hit by the bike. The motorized bike was operated by an unidentified male, age 54. Police are urging any witnesses to the crash to notify them at 916-808-5471. My deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends of the man who died for their terrible loss.

Fatally Injured Pedestrian Identified

The coroner’s office identified the pedestrian as Romulo Mariano Hocson, a resident of Sacramento. Hocson was walking across H Street when he was struck by the bicyclist. He later died of his injuries at a local hospital. The bicyclist suffered injuries as well and was transported to the hospital for precautionary testing.

Dangers Associated with Motorized Bikes

There are dangers that can affect motorized bicycle riders and others. Some of the most common are:

  • Silence: Many motorized bicycles are silent. This makes it difficult for a pedestrian or bicyclist to know they are approaching.
  • Bearing lockup: Sometimes, the bearings lock up. This causes the vehicle to travel at full speed on its own. The pedals may hit the rider’s shins repeatedly while this is happening. This can cause a serious crash and lower extremity injuries. An out-of-control motorized bike can also cause injuries to others.
  • Fires: Some bikes have caught on fire while they are charging or in use. Most fires occur on homemade bikes with lithium batteries. Burn injuries are common in these instances.
  • Throttling too hard: Using too much throttle leads to the number one cause of motorized bicycle accidents.
  • Hitting the throttle absentmindedly: This problem occurs when the rider is unaware that the vehicle is turned on. Unlike motorcycles, this vehicle does not make noise when the throttle is twisted. Because of throttling, the motorized bicycle will move forward unexpectedly. This can throw the rider from the bike, leading to scrapes and lacerations. There are ways to avoid this:
    • Turn the motorized bike off.
    • Use a motorized bike that will not turn on until a 5 m.p.h. speed is reached.

Watch the following video offered here by Attorney Ed Smith to see the speed of a motorized bike:

What Are Motorized Bicycles?

Motorized bicycles are those that have an attached engine to help power them. The motorized component can power the bike alone or assist with pedaling. The engine can be gas, electric or battery-powered. The vehicle retains the structure of a bicycle. Under California law, there are two classes of motorized bicycles governed by the following codes: CVC 406(b) and CVC 406(a). The primary difference is the speed at which they can travel.

Types of Motorized Bicycles

The more powerful bikes can reach a speed of 30 m.p.h. The engine produces more power than the smaller units, and these have an automatic transmission. The state requires that a rider have a license to operate it legally on the streets. The vehicle must be registered, and specialized plates must be used. The rider’s auto or motorcycle insurance may not cover accidents with this vehicle. A helmet is required.

The other category includes those bikes with a motor that produces under 1,000 watts of power and are equipped with pedals. They can reach 20 m.p.h. with assisted pedaling. The rider must be at least 16 years old to operate this slower motorized vehicle and wear a properly fitted helmet. However, the owner does not need a license or plates. Insurance coverage is not required either.

Dangers With Rentals

Electric bikes are available for rental in Sacramento. This provides more people the opportunity of using a motorized bicycle. It is important that the units are maintained properly to avoid accidents. If a rider is hurt or a pedestrian is injured or killed due to lack of maintenance, it is possible for the person or their family to obtain damages from the rental company. Bikes might also be defective. In such cases, a product defect can be the cause of a crash or a runaway motorized bicycle. An attorney can check to see if a manufacturer has recalled the bike. The attorney can also check for ignored complaints of problems with product safety from users.

How to Avoid Accidents with a Powered Bicycle

Accidents with motorized bikes are common. It is important that riders become familiar with their vehicle and its potential dangers. Some communities offer safety classes. Pedestrians and cyclists must look out for the presence of motorized bikes too. Many accidents happen simply because motorized bikes are not expected to be on the road. Although they are relatively lightweight, they do reach a substantial speed. Hitting a pedestrian or cyclist can end in injuries such as blunt trauma or traumatic brain injury.

What an Injury Lawyer Can Do

Each accident has specific characteristics, and accidents must be investigated with that in mind. A pedestrian accident lawyer, for example, can use crash reconstruction techniques to show how the accident happened. This leads to a better understanding of who was responsible. Negligence is the main element in a personal injury case. Your lawyer will use this element to ensure that you obtain the compensation you deserve. This allows you to pay for medical bills and lost income, among other things. It has been found that injured individuals obtain higher damages when they have an attorney advocating for them. Since insurance may not cover the accident or is not needed with motorized bikes, this can be a problem for an injured party. In such cases, it may be necessary to use uninsured/underinsured coverage or file a lawsuit against the negligent party.

Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento wrongful death lawyer. Families face the dual issues of grief and financial hardship after someone’s death. They have a right to be compensated for their loss. While it will not lessen their grief, it will help them move forward. Obtain the insight an injury lawyer can provide by calling me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 long-distance for free and friendly advice. If it is easier for you, contact me online at my website,

I’ve been practicing in Sacramento for more than 37 years. In that time I have helped residents with a variety of car crashes and traumatic brain injuries.

I belong to both the National Association of Distinguished Counsel and the Million Dollar Advocates. The first rewards those who provide their clients with legal excellence. The second is composed of attorneys who have won more than $1 million for a client.

Learn more about our injury lawyers on the following pages:

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