Motorcyclist Paralyzed After Hit-and-Run Road Rage Incident
On his way home from work as a building inspector, Rich Fletcher was riding his motorcycle on Highway 24 just west of Caldecott Tunnel in Oakland, California when his life was permanently altered by a hit-and-run driver.
Prior to the accident, Mr. Fletcher was cut off by a motorist driving a silver Honda sedan while passing a vehicle. When he eventually passed the motorist, Mr. Fletcher tapped on his helmet to remind the driver to watch for bikers. In response, the motorist began chasing Mr. Fletcher, attempting to run him off the road.
Some miles down the road, Mr. Fletcher could no longer see the motorist and relaxed, but then taking one more look behind him, he saw the car bearing down on him at a high rate of speed. The driver, 32-year-old Concord resident David Alcairo, drove straight into Mr. Fletcher.
The impact threw Mr. Fletcher from his bike, which burst into flames. Midair, Mr. Fletcher was unable to move his legs and understood then his back was broken. He suffered spinal cord injury (SCI), four broken ribs and severe road rash.
SCI is always a devastating injury. Depending on severity, long-term consequences can entail:
- Loss of motor and sensory ability
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Partial or total paralysis depending on the location of the spinal column injury
Mr. Alcairo fled the scene of the accident and was located after he pulled over with a flat tire. The investigating officer noted damage to the front of his car and was accosted by Mr. Alcairo at the scene, causing the officer to shoot Mr. Alcairo in the mid-torso.
Recovering from his injuries, Mr. Alcairo is charged with attempted murder, felony hit and run, and mayhem. Mr. Fletcher can never fully recover from his injuries and is not likely to ride a motorcycle again.
Many people have no insurance or very low coverage. Injuries from motorcycle crashes can be severe. You need to carry very high limits of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your motorcycle to cover you for those types of injuries and damage.
If you or a loved one suffers catastrophic injury in California, obtain reputable legal counsel to represent your best interests.