Morgan Hill man killed in motorcycle accident - The Gilroy Dispatch: Crime Fire Courts

Morgan Hill man killed in motorcycle accident

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Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 12:00 am

Morgan Hill – Two men – both of whom were wearing non-certified helmets – were killed in separate motorcycle accidents, according to the California Highway Patrol.

In the first incident, a 46-year-old Morgan Hill man was killed when his motorcycle was struck by a pickup turning in front of him on Uvas Road, just west of Watsonville Road, in southwest Morgan Hill.

George Gera was riding a Harley Davidson Softtail westbound on Uvas Road, and Gerald A. Gingerelli, 57, of San Jose, was traveling eastbound on the road in a GMC pickup about 5:17pm Monday

Gingerelli began to turn left across the road into a private driveway, driving directly into Gera's path, California Highway Patrol Officer Matt Ramirez said.

Apparently aware that the pickup was pulling in front of him, Gera braked hard, Ramirez said, which caused the motorcycle to topple on its side. Gera slid into the right rear wheel of the pickup.

The speed the motorcycle was traveling is not known, but Ramirez said the preliminary investigation does not show the speed was excessive, based on the damage to the motorcycle and the pickup.

Neither drugs nor alcohol appear to be factors in the accident, Ramirez said, although the investigation into the accident is ongoing.

Although Gera was wearing a helmet, Ramirez said he believes the helmet was not one that is certified by the Department of Transportation. He described it as "one of those that looks kind of like a big kneepad."

Gera was pronounced dead at the scene.

Traffic on Uvas Road was stopped for "a considerable time" while officers thoroughly investigated the scene, as is the protocol for a fatal accident, Ramirez said.

Gingerelli was not cited. Once the investigation is completed, a report with recommendations will be forwarded to the District Attorney's office if the investigation indicates Gingerelli was negligent.

"It looks like we're dealing with a right-of-way issue here," said Ramirez. "But until the investigation is completed, I don't want to speculate. In general, anytime there's a death involved that could possibly have been prevented, then you're looking at charges of at least misdemeanor manslaughter."

The second incident occurred Tuesday morning when a 57-year-old Salida resident passed a slow moving vehicle on eastbound Highway 152 near the Cedar Creek Bridge, but was unable to negotiate a turn.

His Harley Davidson Shovel Head traveled in the dirt median for about 100 feet before falling and striking a steel guard rail, ejecting the man back into traffic. He died instantly.

His helmet was not certified by the DOT and came off during the crash.

The accident is under investigation.

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