HEMET: Blinding morning sun blamed in fatal car versus motorcycle accident

The victim's motorcycle lay in the roadway for several hours while officers investigated the fatal collision. John Strangis photo
The victim’s motorcycle lay in the roadway for several hours while officers investigated the fatal collision. John Strangis photo

HEMET – A motorcyclist died Wednesday morning, April 12, after he was struck from behind by a driver who said she had not seen the motorcycle before smashing into it. The driver told investigating officers she had been temporarily blinded by the morning sunlight and never saw the motorcyclist prior to the impact. The deadly collision happened at the intersection of Florida Avenue and Warren Road in Hemet.

City of Hemet Fire and Police Departments and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the scene of the fatal wreck about 7:04 a.m., after multiple motorists and witnesses called 911 to report the crash.

Hemet PD and CHP officers began arriving on scene within minutes of the dispatched call and found the motorcyclist down in the roadway. The rider had sustained major head trauma and was unresponsive.

“Officers from Hemet Police Department and the California Highway Patrol performed CPR on the motorcyclist until they were relieved by paramedics,” Hemet Police Sgt. Dan Reinbolt said in a written press release after the fatal collision.

“Unfortunately lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful and the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene,” Reinbolt explained.

The name of the motorcyclist was not released, pending notification of his family.

In the aftermath of the tragic accident, several citizens were seen helping treat and provide comfort to the downed rider, helping paramedics treat the victim and directing traffic away from the deadly scene.

Officers from Hemet PD’s Traffic Division responded to the accident scene and assumed the investigation.

The driver of the vehicle that smashed into the motorcyclist, a 29-year-old Menifee resident, remained at the scene of the crash and she was fully cooperating with officers investigating the deadly collision.

During their investigation officers determined the Menifee resident was driving a Pontiac Grand-Am eastbound, towards the rising morning sun, when she collided into a motorcycle at the intersection.

The Pontiac driver told investigating officers she had not seen the motorcycle stopped in front of her because the morning sun was in her eyes.

She suffered minor injuries as a result of the collision and was transported by ground ambulance to an area hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

“At this time, it does not appear the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” Reinbolt said. “However, the investigation is ongoing.

Florida Avenue was temporarily closed between California and Cawston Avenues and Warren Road was closed between Stetson and Devonshire Avenues, while officials investigated the cause of the accident and the damaged car and destroyed motorcycle were removed from the roadway.

The roads were closed for about three hours and reopened to through traffic about 10 a.m.

Hemet Police officials have asked that anyone with information about this accident or who witnessed the deadly crash to contact Hemet Police Department Traffic Division at (951) 765-2400.

One Response to "HEMET: Blinding morning sun blamed in fatal car versus motorcycle accident"

  1. Mr.T   April 19, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    I was the first to reach him. I new it was bad. I tried to comfort him and let him know help was on the way. I wasn’t sure if he could hear me, but I did it just in case he could. The woman who ran up behind me pointed out the wedding ring on his hand and I have prayed for his family. I drive thru that intersection everyday, and I replay it every time. It was a very sad and tragic loss of life.


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