The Kern County Sheriff’s is continuing to investigate a fatal accident involving two Bakersfield residents and a Kern County sheriff’s deputy.
According to the accident report, 24-year-old Daniel Hiler was riding his motorcycle in the Oildale community on December 16th when it ran out of gas. He encountered a friend, 30-year-old Chrystal Jolley, who offered to help him with the disabled bike. The pair was reportedly pushing the motorcycle along Norris Road near the intersection of Diane Drive when they were struck by a patrol car driven by 34-year-old sheriff’s deputy John Swearengin. The deputy was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for minor injuries. Hiler and Jolley sustained massive injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene.
Conflicting reports now have the Kern County sheriff’s office taking a closer look at the accident. Swearengin has stated he was responding to a call at the time the accident occurred. Several witnesses reported seeing the deputy driving at high rates of speed well above the posted limit of 45 mph, estimating that he may have been going as fast as 90 mph. Swearengin also claims his sirens and lights were on when the collision occurred but other witnesses have said that neither his sirens, emergency lights or headlights were on and that he only turned them on after stopping at the scene.
The families of both victims and residents of the area are expressing outrage over the accident, which they say sheds light on all too-common problem. Many residents say the sheriff’s deputies regularly speed through the area and show little regard for motorcyclists, pedestrians or other motorists. The family has also expressed doubts over whether the deputy will face any penalty for causing the deaths of their loved ones.
Should the sheriff’s office determine that the deputy acted negligently in causing the accident, he may face misdemeanor or even felony charges. The families may also pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the deputy and the sheriff’s department. Hopefully, they will contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss their case.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident that you believe was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to seek damages for your injuries. The law firm of Nadrich & Cohen LLP specializes in assisting motorcycle accident victims and their families in getting the compensation they deserve for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Call our Injury Hotline today at 1-800-718-4658 to discuss your claim with one of our motorcycle accident injury experts. Your initial case evaluation is free and there is never a fee unless we recover a judgment on your behalf.