West Sacramento Fatal Motorcycle Accident

West Sacramento Fatal Motorcycle Accident

On Sunday, September 29, 2015, a motorcyclist was lane-splitting when he was run over and killed by one of two large trucks he was attempting to pass on Interstate 80 in the city of West Sacramento.

What is Lane-Splitting?

Lane splitting is many times a dangerous, but relatively common, practice in California.  Lane splitting is when a bicyclist or motorcycle rider drives between the lanes of a roadway shared with other vehicles going in the same direction of travel.  It describes the overtaking of slow or stopped vehicles by traveling between lanes to pass them.

Many motorists report that they are startled when a motorcyclist suddenly accelerates and passes between their lane and the vehicle’s lane adjacent to them.  Sometimes the area they use to pass is extremely narrow.  Lane splitting in and of itself can be dangerous.  Add some distracted or impaired drivers to the mix and we have even more of a recipe for disaster.

Details of this recent West Sacramento Fatal Motorcycle Accident

The deceased is identified as Robert McDonald of San Jose.  He was 73-years of age.   We have learned McDonald was riding his Electra Glide Harley Davidson motorcycle with a 52-year-old female passenger.  They were headed westbound on Interstate 80 at approximately 1:20 p.m.

  • The victims were traveling about 15-to-20 mph in stop-and-go traffic just before the crash occurred.
  • The Harley-Davidson began to wobble as the motorcyclist passed between a tractor-trailer and a 24-foot, triple-axle flatbed truck.
  • McDonald crashed his bike onto the pavement between the two trucks he was attempting to pass.
  • McDonald and his passenger were both ejected, according to California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers.
  • The rear tandem tires of the flatbed truck struck and ran over McDonald.
  • The female passenger was severely injured when she was hit by the tractor-trailer.
  • McDonald died at the scene of the accident.
  • The female passenger was taken to the hospital with what has been described as major injuries.

Good Samaritans

The truck drivers involved in the crash and many other motorists stopped to give aid to the motorcycle riders until West Sacramento Fire Department arrived.

More Information about Lane-Splitting

I’m Ed Smith, a West Sacramento Auto Accident Lawyer with the most informative accident website available –  I have been practicing personal injury law and specializing in  motorcycle accidents for over 30 years.

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Photo Attribution:  By Eric Schmuttenmaer [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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