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Motorcyclist Dies in Collision With Big Blue Bus

Accident occurs Tuesday morning on Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades. "It’s extremely tragic," says Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus spokeswoman.

Updated 6:13 p.m.

A motorcyclist, who witnesses described speeding upwards of 80 mph, was killed Tuesday morning in a collision with a Big Blue Bus on Sunset Boulevard and Marquez Avenue in Pacific Palisades.

Palisades Patrol reported the motorcyclist was pinned underneath the bus. There were no passengers aboard.

Since the original publication of this article, the victim's name has been released.

The Santa Monica city bus was headed to its first stop from a layover on Route 9 and made a left-hand turn onto Sunset from Marquez when it collided with the bike about 10:50 a.m., according to Big Blue Bus spokeswoman Suja Lowenthal.

At the scene, detective Brent Johnson of LAPD's West Traffic Division said witnesses described the motorcycle heading west on Sunset at speeds upwards of 80 miles per hour. Later by phone, Sgt. Ben Zucker said more than one witness told investigators the motorcyclist ran a red light on Sunset.

"The light for westbound Sunset was red," Zucker said. "The bus made a legal left hand turn and [other] cars stopped."

Zucker said buses are allowed to make left hand turns at the intersection.  Marquez Avenue splits into two roads for vehicles turning east or west onto Sunset and the bus was at a stop sign on the westbound turn road. Zucker said the bus was turning from that southwesterly direction stop sign and attempting to go east on Sunset when it collided with the motorcycle.

Sunset Boulevard was closed in both directions following the morning accident.

The bus was heavily damaged, with shattered glass visible on the driver's side.

The Big Blue Bus is operated by the city of Santa Monica. Its fleet runs routes across a 52-square-mile service area that stretches from Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles.

"This is not in any way common," said Lowenthal. "It’s extremely tragic, and thankfully rare."

The city's transit department will conduct an internal investigation, separate from the LAPD, she said.

Santa Monica Patch Editor Jenna Chandler contributed to this report.

lqd zapplan November 22, 2012 at 10:06 PM
80 mph is NOT uncommon in a crotch rocket! I know as I have a motorcycle's license and have rode many bikes in the past...Speed kills in a car, let alone m/c...COME ON MAN...REALLY NEED MORE?
Karen November 23, 2012 at 01:14 AM
The area around Marquez have sharp corners and not a safe area for speeding.Need to slow down and respect each other on the road.
Heather Abbott November 29, 2012 at 04:04 AM
I still remember Patrick as a kid, sitting in Mrs. Bradshaw's 5th grade class,answering every question she asked. He was smart, strong-willed, and full of potential. He would never frown or watch anyone struggle with an assignment. He used to help me with my reports. -Heather Abbott
stephensgurl November 29, 2012 at 04:14 AM
im from huntington wv and the boy tht was killed went to high school with me and it is very sad
Glenn E Grab November 29, 2012 at 06:56 AM
motorcycles aren't like cars, you rarely get a second chance to make a bad mistake...

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