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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Motorcyclist killed in Los Feliz crash

mapA motorcyclist died this morning after he collided with a car pulling out of a driveway in the 4600 block of Los Feliz Boulevard.

The motorcyclist was traveling westbound on his 2009 Kawasaki ZX6R motorcycle when the driver of a 2012 BMW 328i drove out of her driveway “directly in front of the path of the motorcyclist,” according to an advisory issued by the LAPD Central Traffic Division. The motorcyclist, who suffered severe head and body injuries, was transported to LAC+USC Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 9:29 a.m. The driver of the BMW was suffered numerous lacerations and complained of pain to her left shoulder.

Police said that neither alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash. Anyone with information is asked to contact the LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at (213) 972-1825 ror Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at (213) 972-1853.

33 comments

  1. Prayers to the family.
    Drivers Look before you book out into traffic this don’t be this woman she took someone else’s life in a moment of stupidity or just sheer neglect, she will have to live with the terrible burden don’t let this be you drive with caution, vehicles can be a great tool or a horrible way to end a life it is really in your hands.
    Get off your cell phones look for motorbikes, Bicyclist and pedestrians respect the road and others on it!

    • I live next door to the car driver. It is very difficult to see traffic from our driveways. Even if you edge out to look. There is a long
      of parked cars along Los feliz blvd. and traffic moves very quickly on the boulevard. I don’t know who is at fault in this case but was a very sad event and I send prayers of strength and peace to the family of the motorcyclist and the driver.

      • The motorcyclist had the right of way. I live a couple blocks away on Los Feliz and hear motorcycles speeding down the street every day. This guy might have been doing 35 (the legal speed limit) or might not. Were there any witnesses, other than the woman who pulled out in traffic?

    • This happened in front of my apartment. I live in the front unit on the ground floor and my windows were open. I didn’t see the actual accident but I heard it all go down. While it’s easy to assign blame with the article quoting the LAPD statement saying the car pulled out of the driveway “directly in front of the path of the motorcyclist,” I’m not sure that’s entirely fair. Yes the woman was making a left turn out of the driveway and yes the motorcyclist drove directly into the passenger side door of her vehicle. Typically this would lay the fault directly upon the woman driving the BMW. But what the article fails to mention was the speed of the motorcycle in the west bound lane. Before there was ever a sound of a collision I took notice of the sound of the bike hauling ass, burning through multiple gears. In fact I don’t think I ever heard brakes, it sounded to me like he was still accelerating when he struck the woman’s car. I don’t specialize in forensics so I could be wrong but based upon what I heard and based upon the damage to the woman’s car I would not be surprised to hear the motorcycle was doing well over 60mph. The speed limit on Los Feliz is 35mph. My bet is the same clearing in traffic that she saw as an opportunity to make her left turn was the same clearing he saw as an opportunity to open up his throttle at an unreasonable speed on a straightaway. Either way it’s a terrible tragedy. Just wanted to point out that it’s likely not as cut as the article makes it sound. Regardless of fault the woman is going to have to live with this for the rest of her life.

      • i live in the building of the driver in the bmw and i had my windows opened yesterday morning and also heard a revved up motorcycle blazing down LF blvd (a regular occurence btw) and then a BOOM. i thought a plane crashed. i ran out and say my neighbor and the bike. it was very sad. LAFD told me directly that this guy had to have been going 60 to 80 MPH. and if you heard the bike seconds before the crash, you’d, like me, believe that statement. very sad for all involved. people – don’t be nasty. opinions are fine. but if you weren’t there speculating how one person over the other is at fault, you are not helping.

        • I live on Los Feliz too am right on LFB at the corner of Rodney. I came home to the crash. I talked to one of the police and he had told my the cyclist didn’t make it. Do you have any idea who the guy was? I know he was 37. It’s just so tragic. I am sure your neighbor was devastated. And while i wasn’t there judging the impact on the car they had to hit at a fast hard speed and she couldn’t have been going fast at all pulling out. LFB is a dangerous street. Cars and bikers drive above 35 all the time and early in the morning I can see someone flying down the street.

          Your post was very thoughtful.

      • Witnesses say he was going the speed limit , that type of bike sounds like it is racing at low speeds. The woman is at fault and claims she could not see on coming traffic due to the parked cars along the curb. The motorcyclist lives 3 blocks away…we love him and he will be missed dearly

        • Wow, had no idea he was a neighbor. Not that that makes it any more or less tragic. Just kind of sobering to hear. But I gotta say that I am very familiar with the sound of sports bike.s. Yes they’re loud and can sound fast. If you live on LFB like me you’re surely accustomed to hearing them fly by fairly regularly. This one really stood out as louder and faster sounding then usual. It stopped me in my tracks before I even heard the sound of the collision. I also heard him go through multiple gears. At least 2 possibly 3 which is indicative of high speed as a ZX6R can do nearly 80mph in 1st gear if the rider is pushing it. Perhaps this high revving was a failed attempt to avoid hitting the BMW as someone else mentioned. As I said I didn’t witness the actual collision but the amount of damage to the BMW also suggests a considerable amount of speed. At the very least more than the 35mph speed limit which nobody drives on Los Feliz Blvd. when it’s not backed up.

          This is terribly tragic for everybody involved. And it shouldn’t be about fault. Regardless of how fault is dictated by the LAPD and insurance companies the woman is going to have to live with this which I can’t imagine will be easy. I’ve been pretty shaken all week from it and have no emotional attachment to either party. I just happened to be there. And for the rider to have his life cut short at 37 is horrific and terrible, I don’t know if he’s leaving a family behind or not if so I feel terrible for them. It really puts into perspective how fast everything can change for so many people. A few minutes earlier it was just a typical Sunday morning.

          • At 25 miles per hour great damage can be attributed. Its just a shame. No fault because it was an accident. She couldnt avoid it and neither could he. He was my friend, Jason Coombs…and I dont blame her.. Please pray for his soul.

  2. When is the city going to do something about the insane speeds and multiple blind spots on Los Feliz Blvd and Franklin Ave? People use these roads like highways, frequently going 50 and 60+ MPH. Marked crosswalks are few and far between on both roads, and cars/cyclists/pedestrians entering Franklin from side streets have extremely compromised visibility due to curbside parking that almost always goes all the way to the intersection.

    Unacceptably poor road design. I have seen countless near-misses of what surely would have been fatal car on pedestrian and car on car accidents on Franklin and Los Feliz. It’s a miracle fatalities don’t occur more regularly.

  3. I saw this right after it happened. I was on my way to work. I saw the cyclist on the ground and all I could think was, “God I hope he’s okay.” He was on my mind all day. My prayers go out to his family.

  4. @shadowpark The article does not mention who was at fault.

    I ride a motorcycle daily in LA and having been injured in a bike accident myself, I gotta say to everyone, both bikers and drivers, please drive sensibly.

    Be alert and always look twice.

    Condolences to the family and all those effected by this loss.

  5. I live at the 4500 block so it was half a block from me. I didn’t see the accident when it happened. I saw the aftermath when I got home from the gym.

    The officer told me the motorcyclist didn’t make it. I also live on Los Feliz and it is true especially when there are cars parked on the street that it’s nearly impossible to pull out and go w/ the direction of traffic let alone go against it.

    I inch out but sometimes it is just so impossible to see you have to wait until everyone slows down and stops at the RED LIGHT to pull out otherwise you’ll get smashed.

    When I go to pull into my driveway sometimes cars are nice and stop so I can have room to pull in but unless there are cars parked on the street I won’t take the advantage to turn b/c the second car can see you but if there is a third car it cannot and again you’ll get hit.

    It is 35 but when no one is on LF people fly on it. You usually have people going between 45 and 50 when traffic is moving.

    I was talking to a motorcyclist w/ the exact same motorcycle who stopped to look at the accident. We both agreed if you took the motorcycle out of the picture and just looked at the car you would think to cars had collided and not a motorcycle and a car. The damage to the driver’s side door and windshield was that bad.

    We both agreed that the motorcyclist was probably going over 50 mph but if a car comes out and pulls into the moving lane of traffic on Los Feliz it’s impossible to stop. And he may not have had much room to swerve.

    It’s so sad. I read he was 37 years old. My heart goes out to him his family and anyone who knew him. Obviously, this woman is going to be a mess from this so I feel for her too.

  6. Condolences to the lost’s family, friends and loved ones. I cannot bear the thought of them this holiday season without him. I live in the 2nd floor apartment facing the street that shares the driveway the BMW pulled out of. My boyfriend assumed the bang of the crash was a gunshot because it was so loud and sudden. He too rides a motorcycle similar to the one in the accident. There was absolutely no sound of screeching tires or brakes, and no skidmarks on the street from either the car or the motorcycle. The left turn there is very dangerous. I usually go up Vermont and back around to Hillhurst if I need to go east because of the crazy dangerous traffic. In my 4 years living on this street I have heard countless near-accidents or full on accidents right on this very stretch of road between Vermont and Hillhurst. Each day coming from or going home I see tons of cars breaking the speed limit and only a handful of times have I seen cops anywhere on Los Feliz checking for speeders. When I see cops they are down near Fern Dell at the entrance of the park, never near our block. I hope this motorcyclist’s death will be a wake up call that we all need to slow down, stop texting, and hopefully the city will assign more cops to this area to keep the speeders in check. Rest in peace, sir.

  7. It’s time to start prosecuting drivers and motorcyclists with criminal negligence, even when drugs and/or alcohol are not involved. This is the best deterrent to curb recklessness and protect the public from individuals who care nothing about other people’s safety. Driving is a privilege, not a right.

    • I rarely see people pulled over for driving infractions. And I see a lot of infractions. Perhaps the police don’t want to make traffic worse by pulling drivers over, so they just sort of let it be. Or perhaps the police are overextended and have more pressing matters. Either way, the roads are not friendly.

  8. I was housesitting right across the street and the sound of the crash made me leap out of bed and race out onto the balcony, which exactly overlooked the accident. Like everyone else has mentioned, it was VERY loud and I never heard any breaks, a horn, anything…The morning traffic crawl had already begun, so I can only imagine that the motorcyclist might have been weaving between cars and/or speeding in the center lane.

    Since there were 2 or 3 other people who rushed to help, I stayed where I was. I couldn’t help but watch as the ambulance arrived and they loaded him onto the stretcher. It became very obvious that the motorcyclist died upon impact– it’s something that I can’t stop thinking about. My heart goes out to him, his family, and the driver…

  9. Riding a motorcycle in the city is insane. Most people who ride motorcycles are daredevilish yahoos.The shocker here is not the incident but that you don’t hear about it more.

  10. The LAPD is still investigating this incident. Can everyone who saw or heard anything just be sure to call to talk to them? Very sad all around.

    • What @xnolaw said. I was contemplating whether my info would be of any use being that I only heard the accident and was only witness to the aftermath. I’m not a big fan of cops and generally find them useless in LA. But I decided to call in and was very encouraged when the investigating detective called me yesterday morning for a statement. They seem to be taking this investigation very seriously and are acknowledging some of the traffic problems on Los Feliz blvd. Won’t be surprised if we see speed traps posted up nearby in the future. Even if you think your information is redundant or useless it can’t hurt to take 5min of your time. Let them decide what’s helpful and what isn’t.

  11. I witnessed the accident in its entirety, from just a few feet away. In the three minutes it takes me to walk from my apartment on the 4600 block of LFB to work, I watched this man lose his life. It was the worst thing I have ever seen and it has been a struggle to clear the image from my mind. My trauma is nothing compared to the families and friends of those involved of course, and my heart goes out especially to the driver of the car. She had so much shock and terror in her eyes when she looked at me. This was an accident, people. Yes, she could have taken a right instead of a left that day, he could have been driving differently, the light could have been a different color, a million different things could have taken place that day. Sadly, they didn’t. Lets not waste our breath (or keystrokes) on placing blame on one party or another, as this could have been any of us. There was no way to avoid the collision, truly, and the loud noise we all heard just before the crash was what appeared to me as the biker’s last ditch effort to accelerate around the BMW, attempting to avoid the car entirely. His tactic failed and the heavy damage the BMW received was due to the impact of both the motorcycle and his body. I am no good at estimating speed from a pedestrian’s vantage, but I can say that he was not driving recklessly in the slightest. There was a large break in traffic that the biker was in the middle of, due to a red light on Hillhurst, making it impossible to compare his speed with other vehicles.’ I guess, I just hope that instead of blaming all “those crazy motorcyclists,” or hating on the LAPD for not being everywhere at once, we can all try to take better care of each other. Road, or sidewalk, I know I will be looking out more carefully for all of you from now on.

  12. What a sad, sad situation. I also live in the area on Cromwell and carpool with a colleague every day. She had just picked me up and we had turned onto LF when a tremendously loud wooooosh flew by us at an amazing speed. We were in her miata convertible with the top down and literally felt the wake as he flew by at a speed far from reasonable. I have no idea how fast he was going but know it was much, much, faster than the flow of traffic as he disappeared between lanes, and only a moment later we heard a huge BANG! and knew it had to be the motorcyclist but didn’t know what actually happened. We were running late and because of the traffic snarl, turned around and took the Franklin route. My husband later told me there was a fatal wreck on LF and I relayed to him what we saw. Our son also rides a motorcycle and this really shook us up. Heartfelt condolences go out to both parties families involved. I cannot imagine life without our precious son and the horror of what the motorcyclists family as well as the poor woman must be going through is just as unimaginable.

  13. I’ m mourning the lost of a great friend. My brother and I have been riding dirt bikes with him for over 15 years. He was an incredible rider. The memories will last me a lifetime. I want people to know that all who knew him loved him. My prayers go out to his loved ones during this time.
    ‘Rest in Peace, My Brother’

    • James,

      Sorry for your loss. Your friends death is totally sad and tragic. I live nearby and only saw the aftermath. The car and the motorcycle. It’s so sad that in a blink of an eye everything can change. I am sure your friend was an amazing person. My heart goes out to him and everyone who has lost him.

  14. RIP Jason Coombs. We will miss you.

    What everyone should know about my friend Jason — He was an unmarried 37 year old man who has no children. He lived with a woman, name withheld, a few blocks from the accident scene. They have been together for many years and she will miss him as will all of his friends. He has many.
    To all of the people who have been affected by this terrible tragedy my prayers are with you. To the other driver we all hope that you are going to be OK and that the emotional part of this can be overcome. He was the kind of person that would have felt just as bad for you as he did for himself. If he was here he would tell you himself life is like that. It was not your fault.
    Sometimes things are inevitable and happen so fast that there is no time to avoid it. Jason knew this and he knew that when his time came it would probably be on his bike or in one of his cars. His current favorite automobile is a white M5 that he cherished and drove as it was designed to be driven. Everything that he loved was like that. He pushed the design limits of the equipment and as far as I could see was exceptionally qualified to do that. Jason could have been a successful racer of anything that had wheels. His vehicles were an extension of him and his mastery of them was really a sight to behold.
    Jason was a citizen of the Earth and had personal interests that may have seemed oddly juxtaposed to some. To those close to him he was just a beautiful being.
    He was a business owner and a licensed contractor who managed to live a life that all real men secretly wish that they could live. He was careful in a micro sense, meaning he had excellent control of the bike at all times and never rode recklessly or without proper protective attire. He was careless in a macro sense, inasmuch as he knew that the things that he loved to do were unbelievably dangerous and carried with them a certain amount risk inherent to the activity itself. He accepted this fact and understood the stakes of a slight miscalculation or a momentary lapse on another driver’s part. He accepted that risk justifying it by saying that just because you are alive does not mean that you are living.
    He was a spirit that we only meet once or twice in a lifetime; an unbelievably intense individual who managed at the same time to be laid back, mellow and magnetic. He enjoyed life and to those who really knew him seemed to soar through it without the slightest reservation about how or when it would end. He really lived it. It was a life unbelievably well lived as short as it was. As I said, many of us envied the way that he lived it and wished we had the courage to do it the same.
    Some people are difficult to picture as old men. Jason was one of those people. James Dean was one of those people. I will never forget him. It really is not surprising to me that he is with us just as a memory now. Fittingly, those memories will always be just as he was the last time that I saw him, on that bike, in his leathers and helmet with that beautiful smile. We will not know Jason Coombs as an old man and in some strange way that is how it was always supposed to be.
    We will know him as a close friend that lived boldly; a reminder to us all that living really is subject to definition by the person whose life it is. I regret that he left without saying goodbye or knowing how we felt about him and I hold his memory in a place reserved only for my closest friends.
    Peace to all.
    JFoley

    • John, Thank you for sharing that. As someone who bore witness to the tragedy and Jason’s last moments it’s been bothering me that until now he’s been labeled as simply an unidentified 37yr old motorcyclist. I’ve been pouring over the internet in the days since the accident looking for an identity which is why I keep returning to this thread. Thank you for attaching a name and a personality to the victim it changes so much. I’m terribly sorry for your loss and hope you and others who cared about him can carry on with your lives and honor is memory.

    • John Ive known Jason only about a year. Never met him but we spoke every week. My brother frankie was one of Jasons best friends and introduced us. Your words were eerie when I read them. I couldnt help but think that Jason was different from most ppl I knew and Im a citizen of the earth and have met all different types of ppl and my insight told me Jason was different…and I felt he was not long for this earth. My feeling wasnt from anything in particular…just Jasons emotions and things he said. He was too sensitive for this cold world. I hope his short life was filled with happiness. If his girlfriend is in need plz let me know. mistyninespyderathotmail.com God rest his soul.

  15. I too have been checking this site for comments, wondering if someone would put a name to the man who lost his life. I witnessed the immediate aftermath, and I’m so very sorry to those involved.

    • I did not see him often Marc, but he was the kind of friend that you did not need to see that often and you still felt that he was sincere. He would stop by out of the blue to say hi or call and ask if you were planning to see an upcoming show and make a plan. He was an awesome brother to all of his bros. It is an unbelievable drag, but this too shall pass. Thanks for caring about him. He was worth it.

      JF

      • John,

        Thank you as well. I too have checked every day since it happened. I didn’t see the accident. I saw the aftermath when both the driver and your friend Jason were gone. When I spoke w/ the police officer on scene and he told me what happened — it’s just so sad. He was young and in a blink of an eye all that can change that fast. I think the words that you shared for the driver of the car are so important b/c she will struggle with this and I’m sure having a friend (her neighbor has written her hopefully he sees what you wrote) tell her to forgive herself for this — that was incredible of you to say. It shows what an amazing person Jason must have been that you are saying he wouldn’t want you to be in pain over this.

        Thank you for sharing who he was w/ us and who he was to you.

        Please give our heartfelt love and prayers to his girlfriend and his family.

        Jen

  16. Jason was one of the coolest guys I know. I just found out about this today. Very caring and passionate dude. He hooked up my camera system at cost because he wanted to help out my new business get off the ground and probably lost money in the countless hours he worked setting it up. Always smiling and outgoing, never a bad day with this man. RIP Jason.

  17. I have tried to write this letter for a while, but my emotions have made it difficult. I have known Jason since he was born, but we only became close over the last 3 years or so. Besides being a genius (all who knew him think so), he was particular, considerate, generous, but never irresponsible. He was near and dear to me and I can tell you that his significant other, her daughters, his siblings, parents and friends are devastated. We will miss him for the rest of our lives.

    I read with dismay the letters the BMW driver’s neighbors have written, attempting to somehow minimize her responsibility, while vilifying Jason.

    Mark, I find your remarks particularly tasteless. Are you sure that motorcycle was capable of the speeds you mention? His motorcycle was intentionally loud so that others might hear him. If you heard it, why didn’t she? Was she distracted? Jason is not here to defend himself, we do not appreciate your disrespect.

    A lot of you have said that pulling out of that driveway is difficult, because of lack of visibility. If you know that you can’t see oncoming traffic, make a right turn. I see “no left turn” signs posted at driveways at banks, malls, restaurants and other private but dangerous driveways, where they care about their customers. Why isn’t there one at that driveway, if it is so difficult and dangerous? If poor visibility is an issue, make a responsible choice.

    Finally, to those making derogatory remarks about motorcycle riders, I assure you that Jason and motorcycle riders in general have no death wish. Riding a motorcycle does not make him or others daredevils, or in any way abnormal. I know businessmen, doctors, bankers, surgeons, movie stars, singers and lawyers who ride regularly and also rode horses with regularity. Jason had multiple skills and engaged in multiple activities. People ride bicycles, ski, snowboard, rock climb, skydive, base jump, surf and participate in dozens of other extreme sports, and they come from all walks of life. Who are we, or you, to judge them?

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