In the early morning hours of June 20th, 2010, multiple cars struck a motorcyclist causing him to swerve off of the highway. The motorcyclist, later identified as Charles Park, 40, of Irvine, was declared dead at the scene.
The accident occurred on the Southbound 55 Freeway transition to the 5 Freeway. The California Highway Patrol received the report at 2:35 a.m. The section of the freeway where it occurred was closed for the next 6 hours.
It is unclear from the Orange County Register’s coverage of the incident what initially caused Park to veer off of the freeway. The time of the accident, however, suggests that alcohol may have played a role, as many Orange County drinking establishments close at 2:00 a.m.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the nation’s most common and fatal crimes-and motorcyclists are the worst offenders. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, the percentage of intoxicated motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes is greater than that of impaired drivers of passenger cars, SUV’s, or pick-up trucks: legally impaired motorcycle riders accounted for 27 percent of fatal accidents on 2006, with 23 percent attributed to passenger cars, and 24 percent to light trucks.
Park’s age and the time at which the accident occurred also increase the suspicion that alcohol was involved. The highest percentages of motorcycle operators who are killed in alcohol-related fatal crashes are between the ages of 30 and 49 years. Moreover, motorcyclists killed in accidents at night are three times more likely to be intoxicated than those killed in the daytime.
Riding a motorcycle is inherently dangerous: there is nothing protecting the rider from other vehicles on the rode. Alcohol impairs the skills essential to riding: balance and coordination. Motorcyclists should take more precautions than the drivers of any other type of vehicle.
While we do not know if Charles Park was intoxicated on that fateful night, we hope his tragic death can serve as a reminder to other motorcyclists to be careful. After over 35 years of helping the victims as a Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer , we often see the families who have lost a loved one and witness the consequences of reckless or impaired riding all to often.
We would like to give our condolences to the Park family, as well as to all families affected by the tragedy that can accompany riding a motorcycle. We wish you and your family a safe summer. Should you ever need our help, feel free to call 866-981-5596 or view our California motorcycle lawyer site for valuable information.