Tragic Motorcycle Accident Near Yuba City
On Thursday, April 15, 2021, a man operating a motorcycle and his passenger sustained fatal injuries in a collision with a vehicle. The crash occurred at the intersection of Forty Mile Road and Plumas Arboga Road, south of Yuba City, according to a statement issued by the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
The tragic accident happened just after 4:00 p.m., when the vehicle motorist, who has been identified as 60-year-old Samuel Hubbard of Plumas Lake, was traveling west on Forty Mile Road. He reportedly came to a stop at the intersection with Plumas Arboga Road, and then, according to Mr. Hubbard, he checked in both directions and did not see any oncoming traffic. He pulled out into the intersection, at which time he immediately saw an oncoming Harley Davidson motorcycle traveling north on Plumas Arboga.
The motorcyclist, a 66-year-old Sacramento man, applied the brakes and attempted to avoid a collision with Mr. Hubbard’s truck, but was unable. Both the motorcyclist and his 50-year-old passenger, also from Sacramento, were killed. Mr. Hubbard was uninjured.
Motorcycles and the Dangerous Intersection
Traveling through an intersection can be dangerous for a motorcyclist. One reason this is true is simple carelessness on the part of other motorists. Many times, a vehicle driver may stop at an intersection, but fail to sufficiently check for oncoming traffic before proceeding. When this happens, the motorist may enter the intersection directly into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist, not allowing enough time for the cyclist to brake and avoid a collision. This scenario seems to have played out in last week’s Yuba City accident reported above, with tragic results.
Motorcycles Have a Lower Profile
Due to their small size, motorcycles are not always easy to see. It is also common for a motorist to misjudge how far away a motorcycle is, which can result in the motorist entering the intersection unsafely. In the Yuba City accident, the driver is reported to have stated that he did not see the bike at all, even though it was a clear, sunny afternoon. From the account given by the CHP, it sounds as though this terrible collision was entirely the fault of the motorist.
The Red Light Turn
Because it is legal for a motorist to turn right on a red traffic light in California, this can sometimes result in motorcycle collisions. While the driver may stop before executing the turn, he or she may fail to see an approaching motorcycle, who is proceeding on a green signal, and pull out in front of the bike.
Because so many motorcycle accidents occur at intersections, extra caution is advised. A rider may want to slow down on an approach to an intersection and choose a lane of travel that affords the greatest amount of visibility. Because a motorist may make a wrong decision at any time, the biker should cover the brakes on approach to the intersection.
These tips are given in the interest of motorcycle rider safety and are not to suggest that the motorcyclist killed in last week’s Yuba City accident acted negligently in any way. From the statements issued by the CHP, it sounds as though the motorcyclist had the right-of-way, and the vehicle driver was completely at fault for pulling into the intersection directly into the path of the bike.
Watch the YouTube video below, uploaded by a motorcycle trainer, with his top three intersection safety tips for riders.
Yuba City Personal Injury Lawyer
Hello. Thank you for reading. I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Yuba City, California. It saddens us to report on this completely avoidable tragedy that killed two people who were out for an afternoon motorcycle ride. Incidents like this result in grieving families. If you have been injured or someone you love has been killed in an accident caused by a negligent driver, our compassionate injury lawyers can provide free and friendly advice. For information on filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim, call us at (800) 404-5400 or (530) 392-9400.
Our firm has been helping Yuba City residents with personal injury matters for more than 38 years. See our settlements and verdicts page for more information.
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