A motorcycle accident involving two cars and a group of motorcyclists riding along California Highway 98 on Saturday has resulted in the deaths of four motorcyclists and a passenger in one of the cars. Five other motorcyclists suffered severe injuries and were transported by ambulance or helicopter to El Centro Regional Medical Center or UC San Diego Medical Center.
The crash reportedly occurred near Ocotillo when a Gold Honda Civic attempted to pass an entire group of motorcyclists riding in formation. A second car, a Dodge Avenger traveling in the opposite direction, swerved to avoid the passing Honda and subsequently lost control and collided with the group of motorcyclists. A passenger in the Avenger was also killed in the accident.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the Honda Civic slowed, but then fled the accident scene heading East toward Calexico. Law enforcement is reportedly still searching for the car and driver. At this time, the CHP is not considering the driver of the Avenger to be responsible for the crash.
The group of motorcyclists were part of a group known as the Saddletramps Motorcycle Club and were on a ride from Lakeside to Winterhaven to celebrate the group’s 10th anniversary. In addition to the four motorcycle accident fatalities, five other cyclists suffered severe injuries including broken jaws, a broken hip, a broken pelvis, a brain injury, a ruptured spleen, and various internal injuries.
The CHP reported that the group of motorcyclists were believed to all be wearing helmets, riding in proper formation, and driving within the speed limit about 80 miles East of San Diego when the collision occurred.
Source: Los Angeles Times, Survivor Tells of Motorcycle Crash Horror, Tony Perry and Ruben Vives 11/14/10