BAKERSFIELD, California — Tragedy struck on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, as a motorcyclist lost his life in a fatal motorcycle crash with a big rig on Bena Road, east of Bakersfield, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
The incident occurred at approximately 12:57 p.m. when CHP Bakersfield received a distressing report regarding the collision. Preliminary findings from the initial investigation indicated that a helmet-clad man was operating his Suzuki off-road highway motorcycle, traveling eastbound on Bena Road, east of Neumarkel Road, at an estimated speed of 30 miles per hour.
Simultaneously, a 53-year-old resident of Lamont was driving a commercial big rig, towing another large truck, at a speed of around 45 miles per hour. As the big rig approached the Suzuki motorcycle, the rider inexplicably decelerated and made a left turn, leading to the unfortunate collision.
Authorities stated that the truck driver was unable to avoid the crash, resulting in an impact with the right front of his vehicle. The force of the collision ejected the motorcyclist from his bike, and tragically, he succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
CHP confirmed that the truck driver promptly stopped at the scene, dialed 911, and remained present for further investigation.
The incident is currently under investigation, with authorities exploring the possibility of drugs and/or alcohol as contributing factors to the crash. The identity of the deceased motorcyclist will be released at a later time pending family notification.