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Five killed in motorcycle crash near Ocotillo

Five people were killed and six injured Saturday in a head-on collision involving seven motorcyclists and one car on a rural highway a few miles north of the Mexican border, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Authorities are looking for the driver of a second car that is believed to have triggered the crash and then left the scene.  

Four of the dead belonged to a Lakeside motorcycle club called the Saddle Tramps, according to CHP Officer Deeann Goudie. Goudie said the club was celebrating its 10th anniversary Saturday with a ride across the desert.

The members met at 9 a.m. for breakfast in Lakeside before getting on the road, Goudie said. They were riding east on Route 98 near Ocotillo, about 80 miles out of San Diego, when a gold Honda Accord revved up behind them and tried to pass.

A white Dodge Avenger coming from the opposite direction swerved to avoid the oncoming Honda, lost control and then crashed into the pack of motorcycles.

Four motorcyclists -- including one husband-and-wife team who were riding the same bike -- were killed, Goudie said. The passenger of the Avenger was also killed.

Goudie said several of the people who were injured were airlifted to hospitals.

The gold Honda that tried to pass the motorcycles did not suffer any damage and sped off, Goudie said. She said authorities did not know the year of the car or the license plate number. Witnesses said the driver was a man wearing a baseball cap.

 -- Kate Linthicum

Comments () | Archives (24)

my hearts and prayers go out to these innocent biker , god rest thier souls

My condolences to the families of the riders who died. Very sad.

That is so sad, and I hope the driver gets caught. For some reason I am imagining a teen driver who was high on pot, driving to a border town to get his stash of drugs. Cars are always dangerous when they are under the control of crazy, immature, or drugged up drivers.

This entire incident was completely avoidable. One person's recklesness in a moment of impatience has ended innocent, precious lives. Find him fast and throw the book at him!

What a tragic end to an anniversary celebration! My thoughts are with the families and friends of the riders who lost their lifes. Hope they catch the person responsible for this...

Another punk tailgating and driving with complete disregard for anyone else on the road. I see these jerks on the 15, heading both directions between the junction with the 10 and Hesperia/Victorville. They speed, tailgate, pass on the right and constantly make illegal and unexpected lane changes. Never see a black and white anywhere. Be certain to drive these highways on high alert. Be prepared to call 911 with a license number and full description of the vehicle and the occupants, time, location and direction. I dream of the day I can run one of them off the road. How needless the lost lives of these casual bikers due to some scumbag who should even have a car.

This is a frequent problem with impatient people in a 2 ton killing machine. And then because of their poor decisions they won't take responsibility for them and run off. If they're ever found, they'll blame it on the motorcycles, bikes pedestrians, except where the blame lies--themselves. And their punishment? Picking up trash along the highway.

Very sad.....my condolences to the families and friends.

Can you believe that some guy in a gold Honda left the scene of the accident? This reminds me of the Aussie in the Bentley that hit the girl on Sunset this week and also left the scene. How terrible.

Just horrible.

This is horrid how can someone just speed away after causing such an accident - let's hope police will find him quickly.

I never cease to be amazed at how responsibility in an auto accident is NEVER attributed to too low a skill level, instead "losing control" of a car is considered ok as long as there is the least excuse for it. If the account is accurate, the driver of the Dodge Avenger is at fault.

There is NEVER a reason to go into the oncoming lane, NEVER!

"Swerved," and, "lost control" both mean that that car's driver was incompetent in an emergency. The accident was not "triggered," if by that you mean "created." A skilled driver would simply control the car. It is inevitable that a driver who can't control a car in an emergency will kill someone when given the chance.

When a car is passing coming at you, you pull to the right, even off of the road if need be, and slow down safely. This person locked up the brakes and closed their eyes.

I hope that this guy gets a good long jail term !

My prayers to those riders who exited THIS highway, and are now exploring the beautiful roads of the next life. All of us who ride know that you can lose everything in an instant. To the families, I offer my condolences, and my hope that your sense of peace can be restored.
I learned that you can't ride a motorcycle in Southern California. There are simply too many mindless drivers, showing off in their gold Honda tuners. I used to ride in LA... Whistling past the graveyard. I've had drivers chase me on the freeway at night. Whatever lane I go to, they follow, five feet behind me. If i had a hand grenade I would waste them, do the world a favor.
I really really want them to get the guy in the honda. I want to see his face. Nailed to a wall, or carried away by a coyote.


Such terrible news, so sorry to the victims and their families.

My heart and prayers go out to the motorcycle club and the family members of those members who were hurt or killed.

Wake up people!

The driver of the "swerving, out-of-control" Dodge is at fault, not the car passing, because you never enter the oncoming lane just because someone is passing, you pull off the road. This person driving the Dodge panicked, locked his/her brakes, and let their car wipe out the motorcycles. The car passing was at most a nuiscance guilty of a violation.

My condolances to the Fameilys.. But just remember liberal judges and juriers will probebely say that he is mentally disterbed and give him 6 consecutive life terms, and we`ll have to feed him the rest of his life. May GOD help us!!!!! God said An eye for an eye and a touth for a touth..I say give him a chanse to repent and pay the consecuenses. THANK YOU.... HOW about some T>E>A> mr. president......HELLO from LOUSIANA. VIVA AMERICA....

Once the driver of the Honda is found... Don't let any lawyers near him and try to get him off.
My sympoty goes out to all those affected by this accident.


I know just how it feels to loose someone that way. One of my biker brothers was run over and killed right in front of my eyes. The driver was never found & is still free to this day. I rode my Harley for many years and I always watch the OTHER GUY. Drives in cars need to be aware of motocycles on the roads. My heart go's out to the family of the riders that was killed and hurt.
I know that my brothers have my back when we ride and I have their back. Tha is called BROTHERHOOD. This is a black & white nation and no one will change that fact. Be careful when you ride and watch the other drivers. Be safe.
Bear(1 %er in 1970's & until I die)

Chris Kent: could you possibly be more unsympathetic? The man's wife died, he was arrested on suspicion of DUI but was released when it turned out that there was NO alcohol in his system (not just a BAC lower than .08%), and people are determined to add to his pain. The driver doing 90 mph while trying to pass on a 2 lane, undivided road is at fault. The driver of the Avenger made a mistake, period.

The driver responsible for the accidents should be punished.


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