Print Posted by Joel Smith, LegalListings.us on 11/01/2017

Disaster Averted when Motorcyclist Leads CHP on Chase

Disaster Averted when Motorcyclist Leads CHP on Chase

In an article published on Noozhawk.com on October 31st, 2017, author Tom Bolton describes a motorcycle chase by California Highway Patrol that ended in the rider losing control and then being apprehended and taken into law enforcement custody. Bolton’s overview explained the initial cause of action for law enforcement to initiate a traffic stop was a motorcyclist speeding through a construction zone. When CHP attempted a traffic stop the rider, Carlos Manuel Cecena, began to evade and reportedly reached speeds of over 115 mph. When Cecena reached close proximity to a local elementary school, law enforcement discontinued chase for the safety of any bystanders in the area. Bolton further describes how the pursuit resumed later that day after an officer saw Cecena riding at a high rate of speed on highway 135. A short time thereafter, Cecena entered a dirt center median, lost control of his motorcycle and was subsequently taken into custody.

While this pursuit ended seemingly without incident, not all do. An important fact to note that was illustrated by Bolton, was that law enforcement suspended pursuit when nearing a school zone. Law enforcement officers are trained to always be aware of potential dangers a pursuit can present and to make decisions that will keep the safety of bystanders in mind. The actions of Cecena provided potential for not only his own harm, but also potential harm to others.  With high rates of speeds, evasive maneuvers and the will of someone to avoid law enforcement, anything can go wrong in a split second.

In instances where a motorcyclist, or even a motorist, is attempting to evade law enforcement and an accident occurs, the potential for serious and traumatic injuries increases. While suspects of a pursuit would commonly be charged with a criminal charge by the district attorney for evading, if an accident occurred, further charges could be prosecuted as well. Depending on the severity of the injuries of the accident, a suspect, if convicted can face criminal charges far more serious than the initial evading.  The problem is, that in situations like that, where accidents and innocent bystanders are harmed, those criminal charges often do not adequately compensate the victims. The County District Attorney will focus solely on the criminality of the incident and represent the State of California. When victims of serious accidents are looking to pursue full compensation for the damages they sustained as a result of another’s negligence, civil lawsuits and claims can be filed against the perpetrator. These charges are separate from the criminal charges and are often fought by personal injury attorneys. The main focus of the claim/case is recovery of compensation for the victims of the damages sustained.

If you or someone you know was a victim of an auto accident or motorcycle accident, and serious and or traumatic injuries occurred, a local personal injury attorney in Santa Barbara can consult and provide a better understanding of rights and responsibilities.  While an attorney is not required to file these claims in Santa Barbara Civil Courts, the process can be overwhelming for self represented litigants. Procedures, timelines and the responsibilities of a plaintiff can almost always benefit from the experience of a seasoned personal injury attorney.

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