A motorcycle rider who was injured over the weekend in a series of collisions on Highway 99 in Merced County is expected to survive, the California Highway Patrol said on Monday.
Edward F. Smith Jr. of Atwater was riding a 2002 Indian motorcycle north in the slow lane of Highway 99 at about 7:15 p.m. Saturday when he reported seeing an object in the middle of the road, according to the CHP.
The 69-year-old motorcyclist tried to avoid the object and swerved into a 2012 GMC Yukon driven by 64-year-old Bryan Millsaps in the fast lane of northbound Highway 99, CHP said. The motorcycle sideswiped the Yukon and the rider fell off the motorcycle, spilling into the fast lane while the motorcycle came to rest on the shoulder.
The driver of a 1993 Mercury Villager, 69-year-old Virgil Lime of Edmonton, Canada, was behind the initial collision and managed to stop before running over the motorcyclist, CHP said. However, another driver, Leonila Ortega Roman, 31, of Merced, was behind the Villager and did not manage stop her 2008 Toyota Tacoma and pushed the van over the motorcyclist, according to CHP.
Smith was airlifted to a Modesto trauma center with two broken legs and lacerations, CHP said.
There were no injuries to the other drivers. No arrests or citations were made at the scene. It wasn't immediately clear what object in the road caused the motorcyclist to swerve, CHP said.