November 6, 2014
A crash involving as many as six motorcycles in Elk Grove on the I-5 two weeks ago has left three riders injured, one of them seriously.
The incident occurred Saturday, October 25 at around 2 pm, and involved what fire department officials referred to as a “large contingent of a motorcycle club.”
Police were quick to detail the group of riders who went as having been “riding…on the wild side.”
Witness Tony Castro, commenting on the ABC News 10 website, says otherwise: “I was exactly 5 car lengths back from this pack…at no time were they wild. They never switched out of the left lane or split lanes. We stopped when the accident happened and helped however we could….Amazing how a CHP officer who wasn’t there and “witnesses” have one story but the truth doesn’t match what I witnessed.”
What Mr. Castro has pointed out is an unfortunate truth that many riders face in accidents. Police and witnesses are often much too quick to blame riders, with the assumption that all of us are running wild on the streets, with little consideration for the safety of ourselves or others.
Motorcycle riders are often, regardless of innocence, accused of wrong-doing in cases where fault was clearly on the other party. What’s more, motorcycle accidents can fail to receive the same investigative diligence when officials believe that it was a cut-and-dry case of rider error.
Despite contradictory firsthand accounts, officials still give affirmation to the news media that it was ‘wild’ riding which led to the incident. This can only serve to the detriment of the public opinion towards riders, and is just one of many instruments working together to shape a negative opinion of motorcyclists. One need not look further than the portrayal of motorcyclists in film to understand what the media wishes us to be.
The California Bay Area motorcycle lawyers here at RiderzLaw wish a speedy recovery to the injured riders, and hope that the true cause of this incident is found. We beg you riders to please, stay safe out on the roadways.