January 23, 2014

A BMW that was stopped in the number one lane with a punctured tire caused an accident that involved multiple vehicles and killed a motorcycle rider last Monday.

51-year-old Sharry Friel of Santa Clarita was riding on the 405 freeway in Van Nuys around 8:45 pm. As she came upon the poorly visible BMW she smashed her 2009 Yamaha into the back of it, rebounding her into the number two lane.

Before she was able to move herself to safety Friel was struck by a 2005 Lexus being driven by 23-year-old Alyson Wells of North Hills.

The driver of the BMW has been identified as 27-year-old Craig Varner. Although the limited details appear to implicate him as being at fault, some close to the incident point out he attempted to pull to the side of the highway but failed, and so stopped with hazard lights flashing.

No charges have been filed. Anyone with information or who may have witnessed the accident is asked to call the West Valley Area Office of the California Highway Patrol at 818-888-0980.

Some people fail to realize the danger of being stopped on an active highway, let alone it being at night. Most of us have experienced the flash-panic situation of coming upon a stopped vehicle or object at speed, and it's easy to see that with little time to react the situation can turn deadly. My only advice to other riders is that even though it seems obvious, and even though it's clearly dangerous, never assume other drivers on the road will exhaust all efforts to get themselves off the highway. You never know what is going through the minds of others, and it isn't a stretch that some drivers might put the potential of damaging their vehicle above the possibility of endangering others. The Los Angeles motorcycle lawyers at RiderzLaw offer our deepest condolences to the affected family and friends of Sharry Friel, and beg our readers to please stay safe and aware out on the roads.