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Motorcyclist Allegedly Driving Recklessly Before This Morning’s Fatal Accident in Fort Bragg

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The following is a press release issued by the Fort Bragg Police Department. This has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:


The motorcycle involved in today’s collision [Photograph provided by Mary Rose Kaczorowski]

On September 2, 2023 at approximately 10:15 AM, FBPD officers were dispatched to the intersection of S Main St (SR1) and Cypress St on the report of a motorcycle versus vehicle collision with the rider on the ground and the motorcycle on fire. 

Officers arrived and found an adult male in the middle of the intersection with obvious major injuries. The male had no pulse and bystanders had already started CPR. A State Parks  Lifeguard, who was passing by, and an FBPD officer took over CPR. A second FBPD officer arrived on scene with an AED and deployed it. CPR continued until Adventist Health EMS and  Fort Bragg Fire Department arrived on scene to take over. Despite all lifesaving efforts, the motorcyclist was pronounced deceased. A bystander with a fire extinguisher successfully controlled put out the fire on the motorcycle. 

There were dozens of witnesses to the collision and aftermath as well as surveillance video nearby. Preliminary investigation leads officers to believe the motorcyclist was splitting lanes northbound on S Main St, approaching a stale red light at Cypress St. Shortly before arriving at the light, the motorcyclist sideswiped two vehicles stopped for the red light, and continued into the intersection against a stale red light, colliding with westbound traffic. 

Heavy traffic had to be detoured onto side streets, causing delays and backups throughout the city. 

Chief Neil Cervenka said, “Labor Day Weekend in Fort Bragg is one of our heaviest traffic times and this tragic collision occurred in of the busiest traffic areas. Thank you to our public safety partners – CHP, MCSO, State Parks, FBFD, and Adventist Health for their rapid response and assistance on this scene. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the motorcyclist.” 

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Drug and alcohol influence is unknown at this time. 

Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to contact Ofc Baker of the Fort Bragg  Police Department at (707)961-2800 ext 226. 

This information is being released by Chief Neil Cervenka. All media inquiries should contact  him at ncervenka@fortbragg.com. 


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8 COMMENTS

  1. What a tragedy, even if it was most likely, the motorcyclist fault I still feel awful for them and their family. Bad decisions in the moment are an awful reason to lose someone you love.
    I can only imagine how awful it must’ve felt to be in the car that hit them.
    I can only imagine, sounds like they were going through the intersection on a green light with no expectation that there was gonna be a motorcycle flying out them.
    I hope that this story can be a wake up call for someone who does drive recklessly to slow down a bit and just care for those around them in their community and on the road.

    • I hope this is also a wake up call to the countless reckless drivers who cut off, chase/race, use their cell phones, don’t pay attention, brake suddenly to look at the ocean, etc etc that plague this area.

      • Definitely wasn’t trying to single out riders. That’s why I said drivers because I meant it generically (any motor vehicle operators). For that matter cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, drivers. We all need to look out for each other on the road.

  2. Title – Motorcyclist Allegedly Driving Recklessly Before…

    “Preliminary investigation leads officers to believe the motorcyclist was splitting lanes…”

    So splitting lanes is reckless? Splitting lanes 1) is a CA law and 2) when in acted dropped CA’s motorcycle rider death rate by 30%, nation wide 5.6% when joined with other states allowing lane splitting. Reckless? I could say the majority of journalism today is 100% reckless.

    IF there is evidence of actual reckless riding sure but nothing in this article indicates that save a CA law the author deems reckless. I’d like to see a follow up with said ‘reckless’ evidence.

    • I get what you’re saying that they could have mentioned that lane splitting is legal and when done safely isn’t inherently dangerous. But the article also says that he sideswiped two vehicles, and then enter the intersection on a stale red lights. Unless there was some sort of mechanical failure (say brakes went out suddenly, although you could argue, he should’ve been able to gear break if he wasn’t going to fast), it sure looks to be a case of reckless riding. I haven’t seen the videos, I wasn’t there, so I’ll reserve judgment and the possibility that it’s a more nuanced situation, but it certainly looks on its face that that’s the most likely scenario.

      • Have you considered that maybe as he approached the stake red light that didn’t turn green at that moment, the rider attempting to come to a complete stop sideswiped one car that pushed him into the side of the other car where he ended up in the roadway. Just maybe it was just an accident. It’s not easy to maintain control of anything on two wheels; even in a slight collision. You cannot say that he entered the intersection intentionally. In all likelihood, it was not. Miscalculations happen every single day in all read of life. It’s unfortunate that this cost this man his life.

    • Speeding while splitting lanes is still speeding! I see motorcyclists doing that a lot even when traffic is flowing normally. And side swiping two vehicles stopped at a red light is pretty reckless!

  3. One of the most common tragic accidents are sport bikes ridden by (often young) males. Too much power in the hands of youth & inexperience is a lethal combination.
    And, although ‘lane splitting’ is legal, in CA, many experienced riders don’t consider it a safe practice.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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