A 70-year-old Martinez man died of injuries sustained when his motorcycle was struck by an out of control sedan on Interstate Highway 680 at North Main St. in Walnut Creek Tuesday.
The 12:41 p.m. accident was reported by motorists who called to report a sedan begin to turn in the northbound lanes, swerved out of control and struck the center divide of the northbound lanes of I-680 before careening back into oncoming traffic – and the motorcyclist’s path.
Investigators said Richard Petrillo of Martinez was unable to avoid the car and was hit, the impact throwing him over the center divide and into oncoming southbound traffic.
The debris triggered a multi-car chain reaction accident in the southbound lanes as motorists attempted to evade the scene and eventually traffic was brought to a standstill in both directions.
Petrillo was taken to John Muir Medical Center for treatment but succumbed to his injuries there. A man in a vehicle not involved in the initial collision had to be extricated at the scene and was taken to a local hospital with “moderate” injuries.
Motorists reported being caught in the resultant traffic jam for hours and police agencies in Walnut Creek, Lafayette, and Pleasant Hill said surface streets in their cities were jammed with traffic attempting to get off the freeway.
Note: The photo accompanying this story was kindly shared with us by our colleagues at East County Today.
Boy, 24/680 you are sure on the ball!
I just got out of being stuck in that traffic going from Danville to Walnut Creek… all the while cursing to myself boy ‘ the evening commute is starting earlier and earlier…. this is even more ridiculous than the 2:30 slow down as it starts now. But I knew if I went to my smartphone you -news24-680-would have the scoop on it ,and you surely did! Thanks for keeping us informed.
Sad story and one we weren’t happy to bring to everyone. But thanks for the kind words…
took me 2 hours 2 get home today but at least I can say I got home. Condolonces to the person family
Tragic. Obviously I have no idea what the cause was in this case, but motorcyclists face a 35X higher chance of death per mile traveled compared to cars. Scary. I try to be aware and alert, and give these guys as much space as possible– but the risks are the risks. I hope everyone is careful out there.
My work is right where the accident took place. I have to say that it took 15 minutes before the ambulance got there. Once they arrived they took their time putting on their safety traffic vests before they even went over to the man. I’m assuming he had already passed immediately from the tragic accident because there was no rush to hurry him to the hospital. When my co-worker called 911 immediately it was busy three times. I’m sure everyone was calling in at the same time but the fact that it is busy is also another concern. Sad day for the motorcyclist. I’m surprised their weren’t more injuries. The sight of seeing a motorcycle and man flying over the divider from the other side of the freeway and getting hit again is not one you ever want to see or hear again.
This is very sad. I knew the motorcyclist, Richard was a father to a daughter, a brother , and numerous other relatives. He was a friend to many people in the Bay Area , Oregon , Brighton Beach ,New York where he was from to almost every state in this country. Richard was an avid motorcyclist, MC member and all around solid old school standards guy.Some would say that Richard was a grumpy old man, and yes sometimes he was. The difference was that when Richard felt strongly about an issue or a principal, he would hold true to his beliefs, and not waver for anyome. Richard was an animal lover and environmental advocate. Richard enjoyed fishing tremendously, often going on two or three trips every season. Richard would give you the shirt off of his back and was known for helping even the tenants on his property with anything he could. Richard was loved by his friends and family and we should aspire to be as selfless, considerate, giving, caring, understanding, and industrious as that man was , at least for the 14 years that I knew him. Richard would have wanted to pass while riding his bike. Few of us get that blessing. We’re gonna miss you my friend, thank you for being in my life , and helping me when no one else even tried. JMS
Nice to get this. Thank you.
Wow. Good letter from JMS.
Horrible accident and nice letter from a friend. Not all of us get that when we pass.
I knew Richie many years ago. Very sad. Condolences to his family far and wide.