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October 16
1853 - Sarah Gifford, community leader and wife of Newhall's first railroad station agent, born in England [story]


A 37-year-old motorcycle rider from Saugus was killed Sunday morning when he crossed the double-yellow lines on Bouquet Canyon Road to pass a slower-moving passenger car – just as the car started to turn left into a driveway.

California Highway Patrol officials identified the rider of the yellow 2009 Yamaha R-1 racing motorcycle as Samuel Choy. The collision occurred at 10:40 a.m. on a two-lane stretch of Bouquet just past Blue Cloud Road and the Lily of the Valley mobile home park, south of Vasquez Canyon Road.

A CHP report states that Choy was traveling north on Bouquet as he approached the rear of a 2010 Kia Forte driven by Robert Smith of Riverside.

Choy “attempted to illegally pass the Kia by driving left of the broken double yellow lines (into the southbound lane),” the CHP report states. “At the same time, Mr. Smith initiated a left turn into the residence” in the 29000 block of Bouquet Canyon Road.

A 2009 Yamaha R-1, like the one Choy was riding

“The motorcycle subsequently struck the left rear quarter panel of the Kia, ejecting Mr. Choy as both motorcycle and rider flipped over the Kia, resulting in the death of Mr. Choy and complaint of pain injuries to the passengers of the Kia.”

Smith, 53, was uninjured. His two passengers, a 53-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, sustained minor injuries to their elbow, wrist and back.
A group of Choy’s friends and family members had gathered at the scene of the collision by the time a coroner’s van arrived at 1 p.m. The rider’s body rested on a low hillside about 30 feet from his bike.

CHP Officer Krystal Carter said investigators had not yet reported how fast the vehicles were traveling at the time of the collision.

 


 

Messages posted on SCVTV’s Facebook page:

 

Jaimie Murphy-Gonzales: RIP Sam. I worked with his wife, my husband was their sons baseball coach for a season. Sam was a great husband and father, my heart goes out to them all. SO very sad.

 

Cameron Beswick: My friend and I were driving behind them before the accident occurred. They pulled out of the albertsons parkway where Haskell cyn meets bouquet and were riding the speed limit, it was a yellow r1 and a flat black r1. We were meetin up with a friend who lives down bouquet before Vasquez and we were pretty much behind them the whole way there up until the intersection of plum canyon and bouquet where the la cocina restaurant is. The light was red and as soon as it turned green the yellow r1 sped off and did a wheelie as the flat black r1 followed. They disappeared on the corners and as soon as we came around the bend where lily of the valley is, that’s when we saw the accident and we pulled over, we were the first ones there, the driver of the Kia was getting out and the two passengers were already out and had called 911, or at least they said that they did, the other rider had parked his motorcycle on the left side of the rode right where his friend was and he was attending his friend, we asked if they needed help, and that’s when everyone else pulled over, a neighbor and nurse came out and removed his glove to check for circulation and his helmet, as soon as the paramedics arrived and CHP is when we left. We drove by later and saw the coroner and realized he didn’t make it. [] right when we arrived at the accident I had asked the driver of the Kia what had happened, i clearly remember that he explained he had his blinker on and he looked and saw it was clear in front of him to proceed into the driveway. From the way it looked, the driver of the Kia was yielding to what was in front of him as any other normal driver would, not expecting to get hit from behind by a speeding passing motorcycle.

Comment On This Story
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6 Comments

  1. Colby Barritt says:

    Thank you for moderating the painfully unnecessary comments. Although this is a rather one sided view, it’s likely this will be accepted as “official.” We rode this section every ride, and lemme tell ya. Over the double yellow here was not a regular practice. Especially considering the driveways and traffic. As far as rules and laws are concerned, lane sharing is allowed. Sam wouldn’t have gone to make a pass if a turn signal was on. The only way I can see this happening as it did is if Sam made an effort to avoid the car’s unexpected movement into his path. Thus crossing the double yellow and colliding. There is no way a turn signal was used. I wouldn’t be surprised if the car was part way to the right side of the roadway before the turn either, which would indicate to Sam the car was slowing to allow him by. He was too skilled a rider on too precise a machine to have something like this happen. Professional ranks aside, Sam was as good as good gets on two wheels.

  2. Speed Safe says:

    There is no excuse for speeding. It doesn’t matter what kind of machine you drive. When it is time to stop, make it sure you have enough speed to bring your machine to a complete stop or make a safe getaway to avoid smashing anything in front of you.

    Speeding Kills. No excuse for that. And because Mr Choy plainly ignored the roadsigns, speed limits and hazards of this area, he allowed himself to be included in the statistics on the long list of dead riders that year.

    I have driven this area a couple of hundred times. Driveways, blind turns and a lot idiots are there enjoying the tax dollars being paid to keep this road open. But when you mess up your skills and play the speed, i will guarantee you will break your bone or leave a family without a father one day.

    Deers, cayotes and other animals don’t have any signal lights. They stop, stare and cross the street. Same story with that car, it doesnt matter if the the turn signals were on or off.

  3. Red Exhaust says:

    Mr Cameroon Beswick, who was behind these guys on 2 R1’s, would not be surprised this accident occured seeing how they behave and treated this area like the race track in Willow Springs.

    Do a whellie on a green light from the traffic stop light? Then meet thy Creator waiting ahead of the road. Mr Choy left a bad name for riders on sportsbike.

    No mercy for not staying in your lane near corners and driveways.

  4. Ross says:

    Hey, Colby Barritt, your “lemme tell ya” lacks a certain taste. Lane splitting is allowed in the state if traffic is moving less than 30mph, safely pass in between cars no more than 40 mph so you can stop or safe avoid the hazards in front if your motorcycle when he need arises. You dont split lanes if there is only one car in front of you. You wait when it is safe enough to pass basing you judgement on what the roadsigns says.

    Choy “attempted to illegally pass the Kia by driving left of the broken double yellow lines (into the southbound lane),” the CHP report states. He was making an unsafe pass that s why he died. No other explaination why he died. No more excuses and brag the level of skills.

    The guy on the yellow R1 was riding beyond the limits of his skills and machine. You may examine the pictures of the damage of that KIA. Mr Choy’s death was immenent for driving like a fool and gave other riders a very bad name.

  5. Colby Barritt says:

    Posting in here should require first and last name. Perhaps that would keep comments more cordial. Hiding behind anonymity sure makes it easy to fling murky words. I fully understand where you all are coming from. However, your harmful words do not do well for his children. If you’d like to vent your thoughts about our dear and kind friend, please do so with me directly vs on an open forum visible to his family. I’m easily accessible around town. I’d be happy to oblige any of you in person, over a cup of coffee or via email. My email address, surprisingly enough, is easy to guess. colbybarritt@gmail.com

  6. Ali says:

    Aw! the truth hurts…

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