Belmont Bikers Allegedly Beat Distracted Driver for Crash

California Highway Patrol reported that an injury accident in Belmont started with a teenage driver trying to capture cellphone video of a group of traveling motorcyclists. Distracted driving allegedly caused the 19-year-old to lose control of a Toyota Prius and veer wildly into the motorcycles on Highway 101.

Officers say several of the motorcyclists reportedly tried to exact immediate revenge for the crash by taking out their anger on the car driver. Redwood City officers did not witness an assault. They fielded reports of the beating while they were on the way to the Sunday morning accident.

Reports say the Prius and the motorcycles were traveling in the same northbound direction near Ralston Avenue around 8 a.m. The group of motorcycles was apparently in the far left lane closest to the median, while the Toyota was parallel, two lanes to the right.

The Toyota driver was apparently too busy recording video with a cellphone to notice traffic ahead had slowed. The teenager hit the brakes to avoid a rear-end collision, swung left and hit a motorcycle. The car struck the median and bounced back into traffic, striking another motorcycle.

Two motorcyclists tried to avoid the accident and lost control. One of the bikers was transported to San Francisco General Hospital with a collapsed lung and broken ribs. Two others and the Prius driver suffered minor injuries. Another motorcyclist had a broken leg.

Police estimated around 20 motorcyclists were present when authorities got to the scene. No scuffle was evident, although investigators are searching for evidence of assault along with accident data.

Accident victims feel justifiable anger, but abusive actions against a suspected negligent driver have legal penalties. Civil courts help accident victims recover losses for damages, medical bills and pain and suffering. The first instinct may be to strike out at a negligent driver, but personal revenge only produces more hardships and obstacles for victims.

Source: CBS San Francisco, "Teen Driver Attacked By Motorcyclists After Belmont Crash," May 20, 2012

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