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Fatal M/C Collision on Cal. Hwy. 2


W. Mazelin

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Earlier today nicewife (Carrie) & I were on Angeles Crest Hwy (Cal Hwy 2). We pulled up for a lunch stop at Newcomb's Ranch and within 10 minutes of our arrival, the ANF Fire crew that was also there left in a hurry. We hear thru the grapevine later about a fatal or near fatal collision back to the west. Sure enough it's a fatal, it appears the solo rider went around a right hand bend way too fast, crossed the center line and collided head on with the LASD search and resue truck. That truck is based on a dually pickup, so you understand the size. The rider caved the front of the truck in approx. 2 feet at the deepest (my estimate from when we rode past the scene). I don't know who the rider was, I heard he was on a KTM Super-Motard bike. I don't think the LASD crew was hurt in a physical sense, but I bet they were pretty shook up about it. Moral to the story is: ride your own ride, don't go too fast on a public highway. Be careful.

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Earlier today nicewife [] & I were on Angeles Crest Hwy (Cal Hwy 2). . . .We hear thru the grapevine later about a fatal or near fatal collision back to the west. . . .

for those not from lalaland, this is an infamous stretch of windy asphalt that climbs from 1,000' msl up to about 7,000 over the top of the san gabriel mountains just north of los angeles. wilderness area just outside the metroplex, and a stretch of road that has more bikers airlifted to hospitals or taken down in body bags than perhaps any other road in california. beautiful bikes of all vintages can be seen at newcomb's ranch with riders of all abilities. not so much cager traffic like at deal's gap, but plenty of objective danger all the same.

 

w: are you sure it was to the west of newcomb's? i was by the side of the road at three points, about 2 miles east of the ranch, when the rescue truck drove by heading eastbound. exchanged waves. about 1/2 hour later on the way back down the hill saw the emergency equipment coming up the hill.

 

it's funny, not ha-ha funny, because all day, on every curve, i was playing with lane position. when traversing a slope, right turns with the slope falling to the left are blind. hazards are rocks to the right and oncoming traffic to the left. you're sorta stuck, so a lower speed is required if you're going to be able to dodge the rocks. the other three modes (left turn with slope falling left, right turn with slope falling right, left turn with slope falling right, allow you to see further down the road and to maintain a higher speed. if the ktm was westbound when he (i assume) hit the search and rescue truck, the slope would most likely been falling to the right. the ktm must have really been cranking.

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I am very sorry to hear about this accident. I am riding with a buddy tomorrow morning up to Newcomb's for breakfast and you can be sure we will be doing the speed limit.

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russell_bynum

I am riding with a buddy tomorrow morning up to Newcomb's for breakfast and you can be sure we will be doing the speed limit.

 

Nevermind the speed limit...just ride a pace that is appropriate for your skills, the road, and the conditions.

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Firefight911

Nevermind the speed limit...just ride a pace that is appropriate for your skills, the road, and the conditions.

 

The perfect definition of "speed limit" I have heard in a while!!! thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif

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Nevermind the speed limit...just ride a pace that is appropriate for your skills, the road, and the conditions.

since the crest is heavily patrolled with a zero tolerance policy, using the posted speed as the upper limit of appropriateness is highly recommended on this stretch of road at least.

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Yes, somewhere on the map you posted. I wasn't paying attention to mile markers, but it was only a few minutes riding time from Newcomb's at about 50MPH.

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w: are you sure it was to the west of newcomb's? i was by the side of the road at three points, about 2 miles east of the ranch, when the rescue truck drove by heading eastbound. exchanged waves. about 1/2 hour later on the way back down the hill saw the emergency equipment coming up the hill.
Not at all unusual to have two or three wipeouts up there in a single day on the weekend. Fantastic road, but when the sports treat it as a racecourse, it just gets bonkers. As the population of the region has mushroomed, the traffic on the Crest has increased proportionately, and as bikes get faster, the conditions for disaster are in place.
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I just got back from the Crest about 2 hours ago and it was another typical weekend on Angeles Crest highway in LaLa land. LEO's, Forest Service vehicles, and a helicopter. First, we saw the CHP with lights and siren blasting heading east. It was pretty cool watching the car suspension adjusting as he went thru the corner blazing by us heading west towards Pasadena. Then as we were coming back from 2 tunnels towards Newcomb's as we hit the Summit I looked up and saw a chopper coming towards us and that only means one thing. Accident. As we descended the hill we were coming up to a long fairly tight left hander. We could see that a rider went down and about 4-6 of his buddies were there. We stopped for a few minutes and watched the chopper land. Then we saw the same LEO with lights and siren blasting again this time headed east to the accident site. Man his tires were getting a workout today. 15 minutes later the chopper pasted us as it was headed to an L.A. hospital. The fatality yesterday was not pretty from what I was told by a guy up there camping. The Crest is still a dangerous place especially on the weekends. Be safe when you are up there.

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russell_bynum

Be safe when you are up there.

 

Or just avoid it. There's other fun places to ride without having to partake in the squidfest.

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[

Or just avoid it. There's other fun places to ride without having to partake in the squidfest.

You are right. During the week, if you can get up there, the Crest is superb and is a really good way to get out of the mess of the city. But on the weekends it is best avoided.
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I hear ya Russell. I have not be up there in quite awhile and it is halfway between my buddies house and my house so it is a convenient meeting spot. And I have to tell you the new road surface is just fantastic. I sure wish they would repair the road east of Islip Saddle and open it to Wrightwood. That was my wonderful 200 mile loop on Sunday mornings.

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Ive only been up there twice and both times thought the inconsiderate sport-bike "packs" were the more dangerous than the road itself. Ortega highway gets a little like that at times as well, but at least its shorter and not so high.

 

I am lucky to have a seasonal job that leaves me mucho mid-week time to ride, so nearly every wednesday I take a lunch ride to San Clemente, Lake Arrowhead, Mount Baldy, Big Bear, Belmont Shore, Malibu.... MUCH better on the weekdays.

 

JT

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  • 2 weeks later...
Be safe when you are up there.

 

Or just avoid it. There's other fun places to ride without having to partake in the squidfest.

 

I AGREE! thumbsup.gif

Please stay away from this place and leave it for the guys who know how to use it properly. wink.gif

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I AGREE! thumbsup.gif Please stay away from this place and leave it for the guys who know how to use it properly. . . . wink.gif
. . . as i was doing today taking my dying dog bncry.gif up to newcomb's for a hamburger and coffee in the not so old 240 DL. by hugging the right side i managed not to head on two squids who were well over the double yellow, but as i headed down the procession of nfs fire trucks chp and lacounty sheriff vehicles on the way up told me that natural selection was still hard at work on the crest.
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I AGREE! thumbsup.gif Please stay away from this place and leave it for the guys who know how to use it properly. . . . wink.gif
. . . as i was doing today taking my dying dog bncry.gif up to newcomb's for a hamburger and coffee in the not so old 240 DL. by hugging the right side i managed not to head on two squids who were well over the double yellow, but as i headed down the procession of nfs fire trucks chp and lacounty sheriff vehicles on the way up told me that natural selection was still hard at work on the crest.

 

Sounds like it. Glad you avoided the trouble.

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AdventurePoser

Nevermind the speed limit...just ride a pace that is appropriate for your skills, the road, and the conditions.

 

Too bad the CHP doesn't see it that way... lmao.gif

 

Steve

 

The perfect definition of "speed limit" I have heard in a while!!! thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif

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