When cars and motorcycles collide, the results are often devastating. When the motor vehicle is even larger, like a minivan or pickup truck, life-threatening injuries or fatalities are almost certain. Motorcyclists have very little protection when they are on the road, which leaves them vulnerable to the other drivers on the road.
Earlier this month, a married couple was riding their Harley Davidson motorcycle and traveling westbound on highway 50 shortly before midnight. As they neared Twin Bridges, they came across a Chevy Astro van traveling eastbound on the same road. The van was allegedly speeding and crossed over the center of the road into the opposite lane of traffic. It then crashed into the Harley Davidson.
The 47-year-old man and 48-year-old woman were both thrown from the motorcycle upon impact. As is too often the case with these types of motorcycle accidents, both of the motorcyclists were killed as a result of their injuries. The 28-year-old woman who was driving the van did not suffer any injuries in the collision.
When the California Highway Patrol responded to the scene, they evaluated the driver of the van after her sobriety became suspect. They arrested her and charged her with vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI. She was taken to the county jail, and bail was eventually set at $135,000. It is unknown whether she posted bail or if she is still locked up.
This is a tragic case that did not need to happen. It is unknown whether any tests were conducted to verify that the driver of the van was indeed under the influence. If it turns out that she was impaired, the tragedy becomes even greater. The surviving family members of this couple have the right to pursue civil action against the driver of the van. Such an action may be especially appealing if there are dependent children who the couple left behind. A legal professional can help advise the family on the best way to move forward.
Source: The Reporter, “Solano couple killed by suspected drunken driver,” July 7, 2014