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Fire Dept.: Motorcyclist Dies in Ortega Highway Crash

Approximate location of crash.  Courtesy: Google Maps
Approximate location of crash. Courtesy: Google Maps
A motorcyclist suffered fatal injuries in a crash with another vehicle on the Ortega Highway near Lake Elsinore Friday, fire officials report.

According to Melody Hendrickson with the Riverside County Fire Department, the crash was reported around 11:20 a.m., along the curvy highway, at Monte Vista Road.

The driver of a Toyota compact and a motorcyclist, each coming from opposite directions, collided on a bend in the highway, the CHP reported.

Hendrickson tells Lake Elsinore-Wildomar Patch that the motorcyclist died at the scene.

No other injuries have been reported.

A total of three engine companies and nine firefighters were sent to the scene, according to fire reports.

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.


DB February 21, 2014 at 04:11 PM
He crossed the double yellow going too fast....my condolences to the person he hit that has to deal with seeing it.....happens all too often......
Donnie Strodtman February 21, 2014 at 04:27 PM
Yep. Groundhog day
live free or die February 21, 2014 at 04:51 PM
He passed us and 3 other cars on blind corners coming up from SJC, we commented we'd be seeing him splattered up the road. Too bad he thought he could drive like an idiot and destroy other peoples lives. One less loser on the Ortega.
Erin February 21, 2014 at 05:57 PM
Ortega highway itself is NOT dangerous.. The idiots that drive/ride way too fast, pass in no passing zones etc. are what makes it dangerous. I drive it 7 days a week and some of those crotch rockets are insane!!
Joseph Morabito February 21, 2014 at 06:33 PM
I'm down to once a week on that road, but for the longest time I was a M-F driver on it... I can still remember the first downed motorcyclist I saw on the way home... leg sticking out from the sheet and toe tag secured for proper ID back at the morgue.
Alek J Hidell February 21, 2014 at 07:46 PM
another one bites the dust..... literally.
Diana February 21, 2014 at 09:13 PM
I am so sorry for this man and his family, in a New York minute something that you enjoyed changes your life forever. If none of you have ever experienced this it is beyond devastating and life changing, I lived this nightmare in October with the loss of my brother on his Harley, I am still in shock that he is gone. Condolences and prayers for this family!!
Kevin Jon Sax February 21, 2014 at 09:16 PM
Every time I read about serious injuries/fatalities around here, it serves as a reminder to slow down and pay attention. This is a sad and painful piece of news.
Jed February 22, 2014 at 09:56 AM
Apparently he was driving his mc recklessly and fast from one of the witness comments so not surprising the outcome. I drive it to OC and back to Temecula 6 or days a month at "rush hour". A fair bit of tailgating on curves and space on straight-a-ways which makes no sense. Many of the drivers are impatient and poor drivers which is an issue. CHP needs to step up the monitoring. MC's riding the center line is absurd for all parties on that road. Cell service is bad which is great as texters have a hard time connecting........I hope. GET THE TRACTOR TRAILERS OFF THAT ROAD!! THEY ARE A MAJOR HAZARD AND FAST IF LIGHT LOAD! PROHIBIT THEM FROM USING THE ORTEGA HWY!
Love2Hunt February 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM
Condolences and prayers for both parties involved. I'm not going to sit back and talk $hit on the mc rider as his family is suffering to no end right now and doing so would make me a piece of $hit. Some riders and drivers are terrible on Ortega... Most are not. I almost got rear ended by a MC at a flagman stop because he thought he could zip through the center line to the front of everyone. "Be prepared to stop" doesn't apply to MC's I guess. Some real a-holes out there. Keep in mind. A person died. HE tarnished his reputation in his families eyes... Nobody needs your help to add onto that.
Daniel Keltner February 22, 2014 at 01:09 PM
I drove this road for the first time yesterday as I am visiting from Ohio. I was in constant shock at the tailgating and sense of hurriedness by all the drivers on it. I kept thinking a mistake on this road is certain death, why would anyone play around on it? Then, we came to a dead stop and the person tailgating me screeched their breaks "HARD" and almost rear ended me. My condolences to the riders family. Mistake riding or not, RIP.
SA February 22, 2014 at 01:48 PM
@Keltner … We are not Amish as you may use to … I do not like the Ortega however really do not feel bad for stupid people (their loved ones yes) …
BLUESGUITAR777 February 22, 2014 at 01:50 PM
@Daniel - This is not exclusive to the Ortega Highway. That's how most all drivers are here. Welcome to California... lol
AlwaysPO'd February 22, 2014 at 02:44 PM
These tragic events are all the same, just different names and spots. The surviving family members still mourn the same, still rise up in anger the same and those who've witnessed the carnage still wonder, why them. When will they learn? It's apparently clear, never. What a waste.
Christie February 22, 2014 at 03:12 PM
Last Sun. I took the Ortega Hwy to visit my family. I'm going the speed limit. A young mc rider passed me on a double yellow line. Does that not apply to them? I thought about the poor young mc guy that who was killed a month or so ago. Do they have no fear? A motorcycle is a MACHINE ~ Respect it! Ortega Hwy does not spell Evil Kinevil (sp); what's more is STOP endangering other people's lives. Slow down EVERYONE and enjoy the beautiful drive!!! I feel bad for his loved ones and the innocent people involved.
lotsahelp February 22, 2014 at 03:34 PM
I second love2hunts comments. We all know the problems with the ortega and it has been bad since I came out here to live in 1985. It has gotten worse due to increased traffic and the seemingly complete lack of patience and law enforcement presence up there.
Chalino Sanchez February 22, 2014 at 03:38 PM
I rode the Ortega on Tuesday for the first time on my MC and had no issues because I followed the laws of the road. Other than an idiot big rig not stopping properly it was a fun ride! Cars and MC alike drive like idiots on this road!
BLUESGUITAR777 February 22, 2014 at 03:41 PM
CHP has a previously scheduled special enforcement operation set for Ortega Highway this weekend according to the Press Enterprise.
ChrisG February 23, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Condolences to the family. I hope everyone reading this will take time to impress upon their children and other loved ones the importance of responsible driving no matter the type of vehicle. Be courteous and share the road please. The laws of natural selection are unforgiving.
Jed February 23, 2014 at 10:22 AM
Courteous and share the road behavior is a thing of the past. It is a competition now. Try legitimately passing someone on the freeway; they will intentionally accelerate so you have a difficult time getting by even though they have been impeding traffic in that lane for a number of miles. It becomes a little game and the ignorant play that game. California allows lane splitting for motorcycles on top of it which is a recipe for death. How absurd are these laws? They are enforced for revenue purposes not safety.
southernbelle February 23, 2014 at 10:26 PM
Jed--agree with the competitive driving. I always wonder why people taking my passing them so damn personal! I'm fine with lane splitting when traffic is stopped, but I know most don't look out for riders--and I've been caught off guard a time or two but most experienced riders know what to look for and if someone is able to impede his way. As for this young rider--what a shame. It's sad for his family that he was being dangerous and careless.
Erin Kerr February 28, 2014 at 05:40 PM
I was coming home from a nursery in SJC. I drove right past his body. And the bike, crumpled. And the car, with the windshield smashed where he hit it. It was so very sad, and it disturbed me. I will never forget it. I went down to the lake and just sat for awhile.
southernbelle March 01, 2014 at 02:17 AM
Erin, I'm sorry. It's tragic. The hope is that when we see crazy stuff like this we realize how vincible we really are---causing us to let our loved ones know how we love and appreciate them. "live each day like your last" is so cliche and unreal--but when we see things like this it lets us do just that. (((hugs)))
BLUESGUITAR777 March 01, 2014 at 10:46 AM
Many years ago I worked security at Kaiser Permanente's (now closed) Lakeview Hospital in Anaheim overnight in the ER as well as day shift in the hospital itself. We were the only ones with keys to the morgue and would have to transport bodies and parts from various areas of the hospital. It was our duty to check them in along with a doctor/nurse after they had expired (or parts had been removed after surgery/accident) and out to various mortuaries. I saw things I will never forget. Life is precious and too many people take it for granted.
Alek J Hidell March 01, 2014 at 11:53 AM
I think most riders know the risks and willingly accept them. No concern should be made then this happens. They chose the path. the cheapest Kia is ten times safer than any bike
southernbelle March 01, 2014 at 01:54 PM
Maybe-but a Kia still has no chance against an 18 wheeler barreling down in a head-on. We all know there is a risk to hopping in our cars and driving a windy road too--or hell, even the frwy these days...but we take it. There should always be empathy for human life lost.
Alek J Hidell March 01, 2014 at 02:05 PM
If that Kia is passing cars 3 at a time on blind curves, you would be correct. however, we all know that is not possible with a Kia. The street bike is an archaic relic, as most of its fans seem to be....stick with motocross or better yet? church-related activities... You'll live longer.
Joseph Morabito March 01, 2014 at 02:45 PM
Southernbelle, if you're going to play that game... may I join in too? Maybe —but an 18 wheeler still has no chance against an M1A1 barreling down in a head-on either.
BLUESGUITAR777 March 01, 2014 at 03:19 PM
And the Kia, 18-wheeler and M1A1 stand no chance against the full power of my fully operational Death Star!!! lol
trueconservative March 07, 2014 at 07:57 PM
My prayers go out to all involved.

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