Motorcycle collision under investigation

chpofficebridge.jpgOn July 19, 2014, at approximately 5:05 PM, the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) Bishop Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call advising of a solo motorcycle collision on a dirt road near US 395 north of the south junction of State Route 158 (June Lake Loop).  CHP Bridgeport Area officers assigned to the Mammoth Lakes Resident Post, Mono County Sheriff’s Department, June Lake Fire Department, Lee Vining Fire Department and Mono County Paramedic Fire / Rescue Medic 2 responded to the collision scene.  

Upon arrival, officers located the reporting party who stated he had been driving his off-highway vehicle southbound on Inyo National Forest Road 1S105 and came upon an unconscious man lying in the road in close proximity to a blue, 250 cc, Yamaha, off-highway motorcycle.  The reporting party then called 9-1-1 to report the collision.  The driver of the motorcycle was identified as Mr. Richard Martin Kovacs, age 45, of Canyon Country, California.  Mr. Kovacs did not remember the collision and there were no witnesses.  Mr. Kovacs was wearing a full-face DOT approved helmet with full off-highway rider protective equipment.  

Mr. Kovacs sustained no visible injury.  Medic 2 transported Mr. Kovacs to Mammoth Hospital for treatment.  Alcohol or drug impairment does not appear to be a factor in the collision.  The incident is under investigation by the CHP’s Bridgeport Area.  “Mr. Kovacs’ smart decisions wear a helmet and appropriate safety clothing and equipment significantly contributed to his survival.  I encourage back county and off-road enthusiasts to enjoy activities in groups, instead of alone,” said R. D. Cohan, Commander of the CHP’s Bridgeport Area office.


17 Responses to Motorcycle collision under investigation

  1. PoorQuoi July 20, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    Why is this called a collision? Is that what a solo moto accident is called? Assuming the law of gravity is still in effect, the rider is going to collide with the earth at some point, but it still seems a strange word to use here.

    • Lt. R. D. Cohan July 20, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

      PoorQuoi, Often the terms and phrases used in law enforcement press releases, and other communications, are reflective of those used in law or a department’s policies. A “traffic collision” is, by definition, an unintentional act related to motor vehicle operation resulting in damage or injury.” An intentional act with a motor vehicle is not a collision….it may be an assault if one of the vehicles is occupied. Someone may witness an event that appears to be a traffic collision, dial 9-1-1 and report it as such….but, if after officers arrive there is no damage to anything and no injury or complaint of pain, then it may not be a “traffic collision,” by definition. I hope that helps explain it. Also, off-road motorcycles, ATV’s, snowmobiles, etc., are all motor vehicles according to the California Vehicle Code. All collisions involving injuries and all collisions involving drivers/riders under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs are required to be documented in a traffic collision investigation.

      • Tinner July 21, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

        I’ve never understood “on your person”.
        Huh? On my what?

    • OHV July 21, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

      Because his head collided with the ground

  2. Tim July 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    It’s about time that the daily business of CHP not be a press release for every incident that happens here. It might be time for media to stop carrying these stories such as a warrant for arrest and motorcycle crash. Really, is this news?

    • Norm Olson July 20, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

      Why do you want them working in secret? Why should we not know what is going on in our community? Yes, it IS news to an informed public.

    • Lt. R. D. Cohan July 20, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

      Tim, As the commander of the CHP office in Bridgeport, I make the list of which events require press releases. I don’t have that list in front of me at this exact moment, but it includes all felony arrests, collisions involving an injury where a party is transported by ambulance or helicopter from the scene, DUI collisions, rollover collisions, collisions that block the roadway for any period of time and all DUI arrests where there is a preliminary indication the blood alcohol content is over .15%, which is just under twice the legal maximum limit. We do not generally put out a press release for other types of collisions, such as non-injury collisions, or DUI arrests where the driver’s blood alcohol content is under .14%, which is the case for most of the DUI arrests we make. Obviously, I do not have any control over what is published, but I do believe people are entitled to know exactly what their public servants are doing….and how much of it they do. Tim, on a personal note, the people I work with work hard, they mostly work 12.5 hour shifts, they work every single day of the year, they miss holidays, birthdays and anniversaries because I insist we schedule enough people to handle the “unexpected,” they work in one of California’s harshest winter environments, they work all night, every night and they often work alone. Respectfully, it is my privilege to tell the good people of the Eastern Sierra about the outstanding work they do.

      • Charles O. Jones July 21, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

        Lt. Cohan,
        Thank you for keeping us informed about what is happening in our communities.

        As far as I’m concerned we can thank our lucky stars that the local press considers these press releases “news-worthy”. I’m glad I don’t live in an area where stories such as this would be ignored in favor of reporting on much more violent or tragic incidents.

        Please thank your personnel for me, and keep up the good work.

      • John July 21, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

        Interesting response to Tim but I have to chime in regarding the folks working in law enforcement. While we all appreciate their efforts, they were not forced to become law enforcement, they knew what the job requires, time away from family, no holidays, and for most, a retirement starting at 50 years old with a great benefit package. That said, thank you all for your service. It is a line of work that only a few can or are willing to perform.

    • Lt. R. D. Cohan July 21, 2014 at 12:14 am #

      Tiim, in regards to the press release about the felony warrant arrest of Ralph Kenneth Provident….could I ask you to please enter his name into the internet search engine of your choice? He has had at least one prior “stand-off” with law enforcement. The CHP officers working in the area you live took this individual into custody “without incident,” without a vehicle pursuit, without using any force and without a “stand-off.” In a world where we all wake up every morning to news of another shooting or violent event somewhere, I would ask you to please consider that the press release on this arrest was, in fact, news….”good news” that this area is served by professional peace officers who are truly interested in keeping the peace whenever possible, but are willing to place their personal safety in jeopardy when necessary.

      • Trouble July 21, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

        Lt.Cohan, thou for a minute their you sound like Jack Nicholson defending our Cuban boarders, I do appreciate that you responded here. Knowing you do have set rules on what gets released sounds like you are trying to be fair about your press releases. I learned something today.

        • Lt. R. D. Cohan July 21, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

          Trouble, thank you. I am always willing to provide information. I have a strong belief we are all entitled to understand the manner in which public services, especially policing services, are provided.

    • OHV July 21, 2014 at 8:13 am #

      News is pretty slow in the Eastern Sierra. It’s either this or nothing.

  3. David Chapman July 20, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    If we assume for the moment that the rider is well trained, skilled and careful, visibility is the next big issue. Since 2007 I have equipped all my bikes with DemonLite modulators (for headlights and taillights). They are street legal and make a huge difference in conspicuity. I have ridden other bikes lately that do not have them and the difference is dramatic to the rider. I recommend them to all the riders I know.

    • Desert Tortoise July 21, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

      Yep, gotta make sure those coyotes see you coming. I’m sure a headlight modulator is helpful off road. Just sayin’ …

  4. OHV July 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    Glad to hear he is ok. I know the risk but still often ride alone. It’s better to not have anyone with you when you’re tearing out FOI road blocks 😉

    • Tom O July 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

      trip trap trip trap…..the trolls always come out for even the smallest story!


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