FLAMINGO HEIGHTS — Two people were thrown from a motorcycle and suffered major injuries in a crash on Old Woman Springs Road around 7:55 p.m. Monday.

The California Highway Patrol reports that just before the crash, 58-year-old Laura Harris, from Yucca Valley, had stopped her 1992 Chevrolet S10 truck in the southbound lane of Old Woman Springs Road at Eureka Road. She was waiting for northbound traffic to clear as she prepared to turn left onto Eureka Road.

One driver traveling behind her was able to avoid hitting the Chevrolet, but the motorcyclist behind that vehicle could not.

Brian Blythe, 42, from Joshua Tree, was riding a 2000 Suzuki TL1000R motorcycle. His passenger was 42-year-old Jeanie Gilbert, from Twentynine Palms. The front of Blythe’s motorcycle struck the rear of the Chevrolet, according to the CHP.

Both Blythe and Gilbert were thrown from the motorcycle and suffered major injuries. They were taken to Desert Regional Medical Center.

This crash is still under investigation by Officer J. Williams. Drugs or alcohol do not appear to be a factor, according to the CHP, and everyone involved was using the required safety equipment.

“The California Highway Patrol would like to remind the motoring public to give themselves enough following distance to avoid any potential hazards that may arise,” CHP Officer Jason Kobaly said. “As speeds increase, your following distance should also increase.”

(1) comment


"One driver traveling behind her was able to avoid hitting the Chevrolet, but the motorcyclist behind that vehicle could not."

So the driver in front of the motorcycle MISSED the waiting Pickup truck instead of slowing down? From indications, the driver traveling behind the pickup truck wasn't fully observant and dodged the Pickup leaving the motorcyclist with passenger a rapidly closing rear end of a pickup. A motorcycle with passenger doesn't make 'sudden turning maneuvers' rapidly. On motorcycle, to make a right turn, you initially turn the handlebars to the left and fall towards the right turn. A passenger adds a slowness to this maneuver because the motorcycle's weight is higher and to the rear. Unfortunate circumstances for all.

This, of course, should have been avoided by Caltrans as Hwy 247 has gone way beyond the safety threshold with all the big truck traffic and NOT having a continuous middle lane for turning vehicles. Short of double lanes in both directions -the least they should do is add a continuous middle lane to make head-ons more rare and not have turning traffic make Hwy traffic come to a complete stop.

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