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Man on Foot Distracts Motorcyclist, Causes Fatal Accident

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

A Manteca, California man triggered a recent fatal motorcycle accident on Highway 99, yet the man was not even behind the wheel or commanding any other sort of vehicle.

The man, already suspected of a number of other criminal charges, tried to flee police on Sept. 3. His getaway led him to scale a fence and down on to the on-ramp of southbound Highway 99. He created quite a stir by running out into lanes of traffic on the southbound side, briefly making his way to the northbound lanes.

The commotion caught the eye of a man riding his motorcycle along the freeway at the posted speed limit of 70 miles per hour. With his attention on the fleeing man, the motorcycle driver did not realize that the traffic ahead of him had come to a stop. In attempts to avoid hitting another car, the man swerved his bike into the median where it tipped over on its right side, sending the man's passenger, his wife, careening off.

The woman, a 58-year-old, suffered head and other injuries. Doctors pronounced her dead a short while later at a hospital while her husband, the driver, suffered minor injuries.

The man that sparked the accident went on to lead police on a chase that spanned three counties.

If police press charges against the man who ran out on to the highway, it would only add to the list of charges he is already facing. The man is being housed at the San Joaquin County Jail where faces charges of suspicion of murder, vehicle theft, driving on a suspended license, driving under the influence of alcohol, among other charges.

Police were approaching the man to question him about burglaries in the area, which triggered the events.

Source: The Modesto Bee "Ceres woman ID'd in fatal crash," Sept. 6, 2011