Motorcycle accident results in fatal injuries

Apr 24, 2024 | Front Page, Mountain Emergency Updates

CHP officers clean up debris, while both motorcycles are loaded onto a flatbed truck. (Photos by Rhea-Frances Tetley)

By DOUGLAS W. MOTLEY

Senior Writer

An accident involving a motorcyclist in the upbound lanes of Highway 18 south of Panorama Point around 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, April 20, resulted in the death of the rider, who reportedly overturned after striking a guardrail.

The fatally injured rider has been identified by the California Highway Patrol as a 57-year-old male from Riverside. According to CHP Officer Jacob Griede, the injured man was transported to St. Bernardine Medical Center in San Bernardino, where he later succumbed from his injuries. Griede said an accompanying motorcyclist stopped to lend a hand at the collision scene.

In the meantime, Highway 18 was cleaned up by CHP officers who also investigated the crash scene, while both motorcycles were loaded onto a flatbed truck. This resulted in a two-hour-long delay for traffic in the northbound lanes of the highway until all the debris was cleared from the highway. Only then was traffic allowed through the accident scene.

Some southbound traffic was delayed temporarily while ambulances and other official vehicles were in the southbound lanes, but the lanes were opened up quickly, allowing traffic off the mountain. The cleanup of the northbound lanes was completed by 11:30 a.m. at which time backed-up traffic could begin returning to Crestline and other mountain communities.

Northbound traffic was delayed while the road was closed for more than two hours.

The stuck traffic was told at the two-hour mark to begin turning around to return down the mountain. By this time, the traffic was already going southbound, so they could, although they needed to enter the line of traffic carefully. At the same time, another CHP unit was leading the traffic which had been stopped at the base of the mountain up to the previously stuck traffic but, since both were moving slowly, no further problems were created and those vehicles that had been waiting again had to turn around again and wait for the accident scene to be fully cleared.

While the roadway was closed, those drivers stuck in the backup stopped their vehicles and began to get out of their cars but were not allowed near the accident scene by CHP officers until the blood and debris, which was around a 90-degree curve just below Panorama Point from the stopped traffic, had been cleared. Since they were stopped for approximately two hours, many talked together and several decided to clean up trash from along the highway from previous accidents, while others walked their dogs and some complained of the inconvenience. One person handed copies of the Alpine Mountaineer to give the motorists something to do while waiting. The highway was finally reopened in both directions at 11:30 a.m.

In order to prevent incidents such as this one, CHP Officer Jacob Griede advises motorcyclists to slow down while navigating curves. He also recommends motorists to be on the lookout for motorcycles. 

 

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