LAKE ELSINORE – A motorcyclist was killed today in a head-on crash just west of Lake Elsinore.
It happened about 11:15 a.m. on the Ortega (74) Highway, near Cariso Village, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The driver of an older Honda Accord, identified only as a 24-year-old Lake Elsinore man, was going westbound on the Ortega when he came upon slower traffic and decided to go around at a location along the twisting two-lane highway where lanes are marked for passing, according to the CHP.
A 56-year-old Costa Mesa man was coming from the opposite direction on his Suzuki motorcycle and encountered the Honda in his lane, said CHP Officer Nathan Baer.
”The driver of the Honda observed the motorcycle approaching, and he applied his brakes,” Baer said. ”The driver of the Honda was unable to avoid colliding with the motorcycle, and the two vehicles collided head-on.”
The impact threw the motorcyclist onto the shoulder of the roadway, where the fatally injured man died moments later.
The Honda driver was not injured, but his vehicle sustained major damage, according to Baer.
He said alcohol or drugs don’t appear to be a factor in the crash, but the investigation was continuing.
Traffic on the Ortega was snarled because of the wreck and a road repair project happening near the location of the crash, according to the CHP.