Road Rage Leads To California Pile Up As Police Searched For Motorcyclist

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 7.48.04 AM

There is an interesting possible criminal law and torts case out of Santa Clarita, California where a motorcyclist kicked a car on the 14 Freeway and triggered a series of accidents.  The motorcyclist is seen speeding from the scene of the accident.

It is not clear in the videotape below what started the feud. However, the motorcyclist is seen pulling along side of the car and kicking the door. It is not clear whether the driver was startled and lost control or intentionally swerved. In either case, the car swerved right and then left.  It then hit the center divider and catches fire. It then careened back into traffic and collided with a pickup truck, which flipped over.

The motorcyclist needs to be arrested.  He left the scene of an accident and obviously engaged in reckless driving.  He could also be sued for negligence.  That could force a fight over causation and whether the car swerved intentionally as a superseding or contributing act.

Here is the videotape:

 

 

59 thoughts on “Road Rage Leads To California Pile Up As Police Searched For Motorcyclist

  1. As usual, the Leftists here, including Jon Turley and Steve Groan get their facts and analysis wrong. Let’s start with Turley’s incorrect statement and then move to Groan’s political assessment:

    JT says: “[T]he motorcyclist is seen pulling along side of the car and kicking the door. It is not clear whether the driver was startled and lost control or intentionally swerved. In either case, the car swerved right and then left. It then hit the center divider and catches fire. It then careened back into traffic and collided with a pickup truck, which flipped over.”

    Wrong. The video doesn’t lie, though the Leftists can and will. After the motorcyclist kicks the left side of the car’s door, the driver then first swerved LEFT (not right) and then swerved right, and then swerved left again before careening into the concrete center divider.

    The facts matter if you want to understand what actually happened. (Yeah, I know, you Leftists out there hate facts, but try to bear with me anyway, just this one time.) The normal response of a driver to the motorcyclist’s contact with the driver’s vehicle would be to instantly slow the vehicle, glance right, and if clear, to move into the next lane to the right. But the driver didn’t do that. Instead, he swerved LEFT, which suggests that he tried to block the motorcyclist off.

    This fact is important because it tells us that the vehicle’s driver certainly contributed substantially to this terrible accident through gross negligence. If the vehicle’s driver had swerved AWAY (i.e., to the right), the driver could plausibly argue that he/she was trying to avoid the motorcycle. But the facts contradict that argument. Thus, the driver’s vehicle was wrong to do what he/she did.

    Of course, the motorcyclist is also to blame. Motorcyclists should not be making ANY deliberate contact with ANY other vehicle in these circumstances, let alone kicking the vehicle; a dangerous action, in any event, for all concerned.

    Insofar as the political predilections of the two drivers directly responsible for this terrible accident, we must first acknowledge that the drivers are Californians, increasing the odds that they are Democrats. Second, when you recognize and acknowledge the facts, you will conclude that BOTH drivers were wrong to do what they did, and increasing the odds further than they are both Democrats. Third, given that both drivers were at fault, and each obviously believed that “two wrongs make a right,” that belief once again increases the odds that the two drivers were Democrats. Fourth, and probably most important of all, both drivers believed that a physical confrontation is necessary to satisfactorily resolve differences. Combined, that puts that odds at 12 to 1 that each of the two drivers is a Democrat.

    If there were any Trump supporters involved in this terrible accident, it was likely the driver of the pickup truck, which flipped over after the driver crashed headlong directly into the truck’s left side. Trump supporters are inevitably the victims of the physical outbursts of Leftists. And of course, the Leftist Media, Leftist Corporations, and Leftist celebrities encourage Leftists to physically attack anyone who opposes their Leftist interests. They give it their “star” of approval. Certainly, Jim Carey, Madonna, Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, Kathy Griffin, Johnny Depp, and those pseudo-Shakespearian frauds in Central Park, et al., loudly agree.

    • Blah, blah, blah, blah, leftist, blah, blah, blah, blah, librul, blah, blah, blah blah, insult to blog owner, blah, blah, blah, blah, I’m an ignorant moron, blah, blah, blah, blah….

      • As I said, “Yeah, I know, you Leftists out there hate facts, but try to bear with me anyway, just this one time.” Sorry that you couldn’t bear with me, even for just this one time.

        • Why should anyone bear with a moron even one time? Youtr letter proves you don’t have a shred of common sense. You are obsessed by you own brand of right wing politivs and you will see a “leftist” causing every bad incident. You are a typical right wing idiot. God help us.

      • Right-winger here that supports our President, yet, I’ve yet to read a more moronic posting in my 49 years of life. How did this accident get turned into a political statement? Why do you focus on irrelevant minutiae such as which direction the vehicle swerved first? How can you possibly know what was in the head of the person driving the car, and what caused him or her to react they way that you clearly would have? Because this happens so often, you know exactly how to react? The douche on the bike caused the accident – period. Whether the car driver was startled and swerved by mistake, or whether they tried to run the bike off the road – neither would have happened without the douche kick.

        • BK – is the ‘douche’ kicking the car is retaliation for being cutoff earlier? We only have part of the video. We do not have the beginning. Haven driven on CA freeways, it is like Le Mans. It always scares the crap out of me. The first time I was in CA I went everywhere sans freeways. Now that the freeways in Phx are almost as bad, I can drive them, but LA still puts a knot in my gut.

    • As far as road rage/motorcyclist’s level of responsibility, this is going to be an interesting legal case.

      California’s police will find this cyclist.

      No doubt, the cyclist will be charged/prosecuted for leaving the scene of an accident, minimum.

      If he is charged with more, which will likely be the case the longer he does not surrender himself, this will play out in California courts.

      In addition to criminal court, I believe the motorcyclist will be going through California civil court.

      He is in a world of legal woes over this ~ and, very much ‘alive’ to face the consequences.

      Well, lucky him, lol!

  2. Negligence? The argument the motorcyclist (obviously a Trump supporter) was only negligent and that it was just an accident isn’t very compelling. Apart from vehicle code violations, there were intentional torts.

    The response – reactive swerving in an S pattern – was foreseeable. I’ve done it when another driver approached too closely, and at speed one loses control easily. So, swerving like that wasn’t a superseding, intervening event severing any link between the motorcyclist’s idiocy and direct causation.

    Battery (indirectly through unwanted touching of the car which flattened the driver’s face as the car slammed into the center retaining wall) and intentional infliction of emotional distress seem like winners to me, if they catch him. I sure hope they do.

    • Steve Groen – as many have commented, something happened previously that caused the filming of Death Race 2000 2.0. And, maybe you are right, maybe he is a Trump supporter. Statistics are showing Trump supporters being attacked at about a 10-1 ratio over Hilary or Sander supporters. Maybe he was cut off earlier and was getting pay-back.

  3. I have a different analysis than our host.

    In my opinion the driver of the car could be charged with either assault, or at least reckless driving. I firmly believe the swerving into the motorcycle was intentional, as evidenced by the timing between the kick and the swerve being so quick I doubt it was reflexive. Moreover, it is not natural to swerve into a collision after contact. The reaction drivers will have if they are able to react in time is to swerve away from the noise or contact point.

    The motorcyclist certainly was driving negligently for kicking the other vehicle. But the question remains was this act the primary cause of the ensuing collisions? Was the alleged prior road rage of such a degree criminal or in violation of traffic laws and thus the ensuing crashes, whatever the proximate cause, part of a continuing violation?

    Also, the motorcyclist can make a defense, if he was not found to be liable as the primary cause of the collisions, that he fled the scene of the accident because he feared for his safety. That would be a credible defense considering, in my opinion, the driver of the car tried to hit him intentionally with the car and hence staying at the scene could lead to his being further assaulted by the other driver.

      • I agree with you Darren. There is more to this story than what we see, and it does appear to me that the driver was attempting to hit the motorcyclist as opposed to reflexively reacting. Why did the motorcyclist kick the door in the first place? Realistically, most motorcyclists are wary of cars, so they don’t generally provoke drivers because of their vulnerability. Regardless of the reason, he’s wrong, but, IMHO, the driver may well bear some responsibility for triggering this series of events.

    • Darren, once the wall was hit all bets are off as to the judgment of the cage driver.
      Also, a biker who kicks the side of a car while riding as part of an act of road rage ain’t worried about his own ass’s safety.

    • Darren

      The argument for fleeing the scene out of fear is bogus. The car had already crashed when the motorcyclist ran away. Regardless of how it started, both parties were involved. The motorcyclist is obligated to stay or at least remain in contact. Your argument sounds like the typical sleazy lawyer getting a drug dealer off on a technicality.

    • You lost me at “… and the swerve being so quick I doubt it was reflexive.” By definition reflexive actions are quick. Are you suggesting a reflexive action would have been slower? That’s nonsense. The bottom line here is that the kick to the car was the causative factor… what happened after that is all on the cyclist. It is clear on the video that the cyclist kicked the vehicle intentionally. It is not possible to “read the mind” of the driver regarding intent. Any first-year law student would have a field day representing the driver and/or prosecuting the cyclist.

        • Moreover. Yes, there is a time difference between reactions involving intended actions and surprise (reactive) actions when it comes to vehicular assault. In a surprise reaction, the brain needs to collect information as to what occurred and what action to take. In an intended action, the mind pre-plans the action and timing is a judged factor. In other words, there will be a delay factor that is greater in the surprise reaction. This is not the same as a nerve reaction due to pain inflicted on the human body, which elicits quicker actions than cognitive reaction to an external thought. The car driver certainly was cognizant of the presence of the motorcyclist due to their interaction, as reported by earlier complainants who witnessed the incident. There was no element of surprise on behalf of what the car driver experienced.

          With an average reaction time for sudden collision avoidance being 1.5 seconds (among other factors but this is the generally accepted rate) the driver reacted much too quickly than if the driver was not cognizant of the motorcyclist’s location. Owing to having knowledge of the location of the motorcyclist is most likely, then any action given by the driver would have either been intentional or extremely reckless which would satisfy the elements of either reckless driving or vehicular assault, and probably also could be at least inclusive of any inchoate offenses.

          Moreover, the standard for proof in determining fault in traffic collisions is at least a preponderance of the evidence (in most locations). Given that, coupled with the prior road rage driving and other factors comprising the totality of circumstance makes a probability the car driver caused the collision.

          In fact, regardless of whether it was the motorcycle rider or the car driver who caused the initial impact, it was both acting in a reckless manner, by the nature of participating in the road rage incident as co-perpetrators, that ultimately led to the collision involving the SUV. From that alone, there is cause to find fault that is outside of the SUV driver’s liability.

  4. That is likely an orange HD full dresser, clearly heard in the video when he speeds away after the crash. Yes, I’m an audio expert, and yes, I owned about 75 motorcycles. It could possibly be a Japanese air-cooled full dresser V-twin (Yamaha is the only brand meeting that description), but I don’t think so because of the sound and color. It might possibly be a Victory full dress cruiser, but again, based on the sound, I feel confident it’s a Hog. Victory is liquid cooled, and that was an air cooled V twin.

    Rider looks to be about 5-10, medium to slightly above medium build.

    If you live in the area and own such a bike, I suggest you get documentation of your exact location at the time of this incident, and maybe even talk to an attorney to represent you if a State representative contacts you. Say nothing except, “I declare my fifth Amendment right to silence, and contact my attorney if needs be.” Do NOT open your door, but rather tell them to meet you at a window, say your peace above, hand them the attorney’s card, tell them you forbid entry lacking a warrant, and close the window.

    You might want to park your bike inside till they catch the guy.

    • Just to clarify, that was the unique sound of a 45 degree V-twin large displacement air cooled motorcycle, which description fits exactly one bike, H-D. Well, OK, two if you include a tiny boutique ultra high end brand owned by a co-worker called Big Dog, but they don’t make a bagger/full dress touring model as per our subject bike.

  5. It was as if the motorcyclist took a knife to a gun fight but the gun blew up in the face of the car driver. The motorcyclist was angry, stupid, and lucky. The car driver was angry, stupid, not so lucky, and can’t drive worth a sh*t. If you can’t knock someone off a motorcycle then hey…..

  6. It looks like something happened prior to this incident, as has been pointed out by other posters. Otherwise, why would the man have begun filming the pair?

    People either forget or don’t care that they are operating a lethal weapon on the road. My suspicion is that the driver swerved intentionally into the motorcyclist because he was mad he kicked his car. Why would you turn into something that startled you? But I don’t see how it could be proved. It’s just my hunch. (Note to driver. Take the motorcycle rider’s license plate and report him for damaging your car. Everyone goes home without getting into a car accident.)

    The motorcyclist was wrong to kick the other driver’s car, no matter what he did to provoke him. He may have had every right to get mad, but his actions about it were wrong. The driver had no right to try to murder the motorcycle rider in retaliation. The motor cycle rider was wrong to leave the scene of the accident of the man with whom he quarreled.

    I blame most of the fault of the accident on the sedan, because he was swerving into a motorcycle rider that apparently angered him.

    Clearly, since people misuse cars, we need to create a registry that restricts more and more cars, limit the size of the gas tank, and people should have to prove they have a need before they are allowed to buy cars. Heck, let’s just get rid of all traffic murders and accidents and ban all cars. We must get serious about stopping automotive violence.

    Let the people eat gluten free diary free cake made with vegan egg substitute while they walk to work. And damn fossil fuels, lifting people out of poverty and allowing them to live out the cold winters. Let’s make fossil fuels so exorbitantly expensive that the unaffordable alternative energy will seem like a bargain by comparison. People will have to die with dignity in the winter time or man made climate change summers, or they will have to chop down all the trees and burn them to stay warm. Sure, it will pollute the air more than before, but they are a green renewable resource and the carbon can be credited for 30 years so all those particulates they breathe don’t really count. Sure, we’ll have less oxygen to breathe with all the deforestation, but we will feel really super good emotionally and superior to those Capitalist Pigs.

    Sorry. The Liberal Subliminal Messaging in CA media popped up. Must have been triggered by talks of traffic. They should require a Trigger Warning on all articles concerning California Traffic.

  7. The video doesn’t show what triggered the hostilities but I think it can be reasonably inferred the driver probably didn’t do anything very aggressive prior to the kick because while delivering the kick the biker left himself wide open to a potentially fatal counter-punch. If the driver displayed wild-man tendencies earlier, the biker, unless he was in a blind rage, probably wouldn’t have left himself so vulnerable. But who knows.

  8. Being that it was video taped, it tells me that something had to have been going on for a bit to make someone think this might be worth filming.

  9. Then there’s the guy with a gun. DAPL protesters in North Dakota say “we love you, turn around”. The guy with the gun says “this is my way home”.

  10. California allows motorcycles to lane split. I call it the suicide policy. Lane splitting causes many accidents and road rage w/ speeding motorcycles splitting the small gap between cars in adjoining lanes. When I first started spending winters in Cali and experienced this, I thought it was a joke that lane splitting was legal.

          • Paul, I’ve been reading obits on Kush. He is from a western PA. coal town. One of 15 kids of a Polish immigrant family. I’m sure you know his history, but I didn’t. I grew up w/ a lotta Pollacks and they often shorten their names. I’m guessing it’s really Kusiewizkowski or something along those lines. Ted Knight is from my hometown. His real name is Tadeusz Wladyslaw Konopka.

    • Lane Splitting is what happens when traffic becomes so congested that people go insane trying to get to work or … anywhere else. It’s an insane practice that has gained legal status because it is a cultural norm. I’ve had motorcyclists rush by me so fast, they are already there and gone. It’s so scary because it’s hard to see them in time. I try to move over as far as I can to the other side of the lane to give them room.

      What drives people away from the State of CA is usually traffic and taxes. Traffic is the Mistress who monopolizes most of our life. And yet, Liberals put us on Road Diets, and when they create new lanes, they are bike lanes or carpool lanes, or toll roads that sit mostly empty. They don’t actually care about reducing traffic, just the Agenda. So people who can’t carpool to the grocery store or work (like parents who have to be able to leave if their kid gets sick at school), or those who can’t afford toll roads in addition to crushing taxes will probably never have a new lane built for them ever.

      http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-sac-essential-politics-updates-california-to-establish-lane-splitting-1470328822-htmlstory.html

    • @Nick, I generally agree with your comments, but in this instance, close examination of the practice supports lane splitting, though not the way a lot of bikers do it. I ride a motorcycle (in California) and generally don’t lane split because I’m not that impatient (okay, my bike is also large/heavy and I’m old). In some instances, though, I’ve split lanes to keep the bike moving when traffic is stopped and bike is overheating. My bike is water-cooled, but bikes just don’t have the same cooling capacity as cars. So long as you’re not going more than 15-20 mph faster than traffic that’s either stopped or moving at <10mph, it's safer because the hazards are front/side instead of the danger of rear-end collisions. The numbskulls flashing by at 30-50mph faster than the cars are the unsafe idiots who give all us bikers a bad reputation.

      • Wonderer, I can abide sensible bikers like yourself. I am getting less startled by motorcycles that buzz past me in stopped traffic. But some bikers, as you acknowledge, are nuts in their lane splitting. Although, I drove in Rome and it makes Cali lane splitting look tame. Scooter drivers in Rome are totally insane and out of control.

      • Darren, as someone who has ridden over the last 10 years I can tell you most people riding on the highway that I know, myself included, are super vigilant about conditions changing in an instant. I always ride with the idea that I’m invisible to other drivers. I never insist on the right of way. To paraphrase Ralphie May, You can be right or you can be alive.
        The biker had no right to try to kick the offending vehicle.
        The car driver had no right to run the biker off the road.
        The right of way is not an absolute.
        You can get a ticket for insisting on the right of way in some states.
        I personally hold the biker accountable because the way he was able to kick a moving vehicle and especially the way he pulled out from the near miss into the wall, proved he was an experienced rider and should have responded better to the initial vehicular slight..
        Like Kwai Chang Caine said early on when he was asked by Master Chen Ming Kan what did he learn
        he replied’ To expect the unexpected.”

  11. Being a motorcycle rider myself… this clearly seems to be a case of road rage between BOTH the driver of the car and the motorcycle rider. There is NO WAY that the physical kick from the motorcyclists boot caused the car to lose control.

    Jonathan is correct the vehicle driver was either startled and lost control or intentionally swerved. From my perspective and experience, the car intentionally swerved into the motorcyclist, trying to scare the motorcyclist and the drive of the car lost control of his own vehicle.

    I’m not saying the motorcyclist is not in the wrong, he should not have left the accident scene, but he did not cause the vehicle to go into the median which caused the chain reaction. This vehicle driver was also 50% or even more at fault in the chain reaction.

    Both parties had every chance to stop the road rage.

    • Patrick I agree, also we don’t know what the car did to cause the biker to kick at him. (A dumb thing to try to do) But I don’t think the biker just decided to kick at the car for no reason…

    • You say “There is NO WAY that the physical kick from the motorcyclists boot caused the car to lose control” and then say “Jonathan is correct the vehicle driver was either startled and lost control or intentionally swerved.” Only to then say “I’m not saying the motorcyclist is not in the wrong, he should not have left the accident scene, but he did not cause the vehicle to go into the median which caused the chain reaction.”

      If the motorcyclist’s kick startled the driver, which then caused the driver to lose control, which you admit is a possibility, isn’t that the same thing as the motorcyclist causing the accident? If it weren’t for the kick, no startling, no loss of control, no accident.

      • There is science and legal difference between cause and correlation. The kick itself can and did not physically cause the car’s wheels to turn L, followed by over-correction R, followed by extreme out of control swerve L into the wall, bouncing off the wall, etc. The kick on the left did not physically prohibit the car driver from hitting his breaks and/or gently turning R away from the apparent kick source/threat.

        The biker’s actions are wrong and illegal on many points.

        The car driver experiences a threat/kick/noise on the L, followed by turning L toward the noise/kick/threat origin. Why? The car’s L turn into the bike seems intentional. If true, this might be the second time the car driver performed such action toward the biker.

        As someone else stated, the fact that a car lost a physical incident with a bike indicates extreme lack of the car driver’s skill, consistent with bad/rude driving habits, consistent with a back story to the video (aggressive incident between the two earlier).

        This video is a great tool to illustrate “unintended consequences.” Someone’s likely to get familiar with jail food for this one.

    • None of us know the precursor to this incident, and for sure there was one. We also don’t know the skill of the car driver, or of the possibility of the mental state of either party (drugs, booze, distraction). I also don’t see lane splitting as a factor. There was plenty of room for both parties.
      What I do see is a motorcyclist risk crashing by kicking out and losing his balance. I also see that he left the scene.
      I don’t think I’d like to know either one very well.

      • As it turns out, the car driver exited the HOV lane and interfered with the motorcyclist in the lane to his right, probably not having seen him. They then exchanged words. A kick or two then came from the motorcycle rider. I’m just guessing, but the car driver turned his head to see better, and his hands followed, making the car swerve and then losing control.

  12. Having driven on CA freeways, it is like playing bumper cars at 75 mph. Usually there are more cars than seen in this video.

      • Jack,

        If the driver of the sedan had done that, then they would be charged with everything on this accident.

        The motorcyclist didn’t cause the car to go into the median. The over-reaction or deadly attempt to swerve into the motorcyclist and the loss of control of his own vehicle was his own doing.

        Simple physic’s can’t jerk the steering on a front wheel drive sedan at 65 mph and not expect a terrible outcome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s