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.