A California motorcycle officer who was stopped alongside the road to help with a prior, unrelated accident suffered severe injuries, including crush injuries to his legs, after another motorist ran in to the stopped motorcycle from behind.
According to authorities, the officer had turned on the motorcycle's lights to give passing drivers the ability to see it. Nevertheless, the woman, who apparently did not notice the scene of the accident, plowed in to the back of the bike, pushing it in to the officer and also in to a pickup truck that had been involved in the prior accident.
The pickup also wound up landing on the highway patrolman, who also got pinned underneath his own motorcycle.
The officer will reportedly have to have surgery to correct the damage caused by this accident. In the mean time, the woman who hit the motorcycle has been arrested in connection with alleged drunk driving at the time of the accident. She reportedly did not have a valid license at the time of the accident of a prior DUI.
Although it happened in a different part of California, this accident still illustrates some important points that the residents of Orange County should bear in mind. For one, drivers need to particularly heed the advice of being careful around police officers along the side of the road when that officer happens to be on a motorcycle.
Perhaps more importantly, drinking and driving will make a motorist particularly dangerous to motorcyclists. Since they are hard to see anyway, a driver who has had too much to drink is highly likely not to even notice a motorcyclist who is alongside the road or even when there is a motorcycle in the flow of traffic.
As is the case with other motorcycle accidents, this incident likely could have been prevented with a little more care and caution on the part of the driver who caused it. The officer may be able to get compensation for his injuries even above and beyond what workers' compensation will pay him.
Source: KTVU, "Woman arrested on felony DUI charges after CHP motorcycle officer struck and injured," Lisa Fernandez and Alex Savidge, Jan. 16, 2018.