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Murder charges for California biker over fatal off-ramp crash

Motorcyclists, like California drivers, are responsible for the safety of passengers. Drivers or bikers under the influence of alcohol or drugs show full disregard of their own safety and the well-being of others. This reckless act can result in catastrophic injuries, death and criminal and civil penalties.

Authorities in Chula Vista said a 27-year-old woman passenger was killed in a motorcycle accident, while accompanying a speeding, intoxicated motorcyclist. The fatal crash occurred in the middle of the night on an Interstate 5 exit ramp. California Highway Patrol reported the bike was going too fast to make a curve and crashed into a Caltrans barrel.

The 37-year-old operator and female passenger were ejected from the motorcycle. The woman died in the crash. The man survived and was hospitalized at a Hillcrest medical facility with undisclosed injuries.

The biker was arraigned at the hospital on several charges, including murder, DUI causing great bodily injury and gross vehicular manslaughter – charges were influenced by two previous DUI misdemeanor convictions. An across-the-board conviction could put the motorcyclist behind bars for as long as 15 years. Bail was set at $1 million.

According to statistical information compiled by the Insurance Information Institute, 30 percent of U.S. motorcyclists killed in 2011 bike accidents were intoxicated. Thirty-four percent of fatally injured bikers in 2012 were speeding. Between 2011 and 2012, the percentage of injuries and deaths among motorcyclists soared – fatalities were up over 7 percent and injuries rose 15 percent.

Drunk motorcycling and speeding are two of several unnecessary, reckless behaviors. Imagine the pain and suffering that might have been avoided, if riders had chosen not to go too fast or drink and ride. Victims of negligent drivers and riders included permanently disabled and paralyzed victims and families whose loved ones never came home.

Liability attorneys can help restore financial stability to victims' lives through claims against negligent parties.

Source: U-T San Diego, "Motorcyclist charged with murder in fatal crash" Kristina Davis, Sep. 10, 201

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