News


Update: Motorcyclist killed in Woodside crash is identified

 

Dennis Steven Orellana, 61, of Burlingame died Monday (Feb. 16) in an accident on Canada Road in Woodside when the Harley Davidson motorcycle he was riding collided with a dump truck driven by a 43-year-old Redwood City man, according to sources at the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office and Coroner's Office.

Both vehicles were northbound on Canada Road. The collision occurred as the truck was making a left turn on to Olive Hill Lane at about 3:15 p.m. and Mr. Orellana attempted to pass the truck on the left, a Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said.

An investigation is ongoing but "it appears that the motorcyclist crossed over the double yellow lines" to make the pass while the truck was turning, Deputy Rebecca Rosenblatt told the Almanac.

Citing the ongoing investigation and the absence of criminal charges, Ms. Rosenblatt said the Sheriff's Office is not releasing the name of the driver of the dump truck.

Medics from the Woodside Fire Protection District pronounced Mr. Orellana dead at the scene.

The truck driver remained on the scene and cooperated with investigators, she said. Drugs and alcohol are thought not to be a factor.

There were witnesses and investigators are in contact with them, she said. Rangers from the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District called 911 to report the accident.

Authorities closed the road during the investigation of the scene and reopened it at about 6 p.m.

Correction: An earlier story from Bay City News Service had the ages reversed, reporting that the 61-year-old was driving the truck and the 43-year-old was riding the motorcycle.

Bay City News Service contributed to this story

Comments

2 people like this
Posted by what
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 16, 2015 at 7:14 pm

What kind of "blind spot"? Was one of the vehicles passing the other? One was turning into a side street or coming out of a driveway? If we learn more about what happened in this fatal collision, we can possibly prevent similar situations in the future.


1 person likes this
Posted by Woodpecker
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Feb 16, 2015 at 8:39 pm

I live off the next street that intersects Canada Road. Many times droves of cyclist pop out of Olive Hill onto Canada Road and it's dangerous. In a hurry, with fast traffic on Canada Road, it's possible there is a blind spot. Have to be careful and patient to get onto canada road. Odd though at 3:30 in the afternoon such an unfortunate accident happens.


9 people like this
Posted by Robin
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 16, 2015 at 9:06 pm

My mate happened upon the scene shortly after it happened as the fire trucks arrived. From what I was told, as conveyed by folks at my mate's barn, the dump truck was heading north on Canada and took a left on Olive Hill Lane - at the same time, the motor cycle tried to pass on the left and was in the dump truck's blind spot as the dump truck continued to turn left - they tangled. From what I was told, the fellow was pinned under the wheel of the dump truck, his motorcycle completely mangled. Very sad. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's family and friends as well as to the truck driver who will need to live with this horrific event.


9 people like this
Posted by Canada resident
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 17, 2015 at 8:17 am

So sad for this person and his family. My heart breaks for them.

Take heed those of you with motorcycles. The risks are just too great. Minor fender benders in a regular car become fatalities when there is no safety gear to protect you.


7 people like this
Posted by Woodsider
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 17, 2015 at 10:48 am

I understand from someone who was nearby when this happened that the motorcyclist was in the dump truck's blind spot because he was passing the truck on the left as the truck was turning left. It is illegal to pass on Canada, but that is a pretty dreadfully high price to pay for a minor traffic infraction (and an illustration of why it is illegal to pass on Canada.)


24 people like this
Posted by La Hondan
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2015 at 11:22 am

I live in La Honda. It was a spectacularly beautiful holiday weekend, but the beauty of the weekend was marred by the frequent sounding of the siren at the La Honda Fire Brigade and the repeated sound of Life Flight coming over from Stanford. We traveled over Hwy. 84 for events on the Bayside on both Saturday and Sunday and were relieved to be able to stay home on Monday. The traffic was insane and accidents waiting to happen were everywhere. The mixture of bicycles, motorists and motorcyclists, complete with "Sunday drivers" who are not familiar with the roads, the insanity that is the intersection at Skylonda (with recreational motorists making irresponsible turns, motorcycles crammed everywhere, reduced visibility for everyone, and bicyclists seemingly completely oblivious), etc. On Valentine's Day, I watched a couple on bicycles casually chatting and riding side by side while turning from southbound 35 onto east bound 84, without giving even half their attention to traffic. Unbelievable!

I understand and appreciate that this is a beautiful area and many are beckoned to the woods and beaches on sunny weekends, especially holiday weekends. But as someone who lives out here, the chaos and the tragedies that result from inattentive, irresponsible, and discourteous behavior by motorists, motorcyclists and bicyclists is a constant danger to our community. Please, please, please - don't come out here if you aren't ready to be courteous, cautious and extremely attentive.

I am not commenting specifically about this tragic fatal accident on Canada Road (or the tragic fatal accident near Redwood Terrace in La Honda.) It is a general request:

1. Please do not ride bicycles up the hill on Hwy. 84 between Old La Honda Road and Highway 35. I know, I know, you have every right to be there, but when traffic moving at the speed limit comes around a blind curve (of which there are many) and there is a bicyclist laboring up the hill going 10 mph where there is absolutely no shoulder, it is a prescription for disaster for everyone involved. Take Old La Honda Road. There is very little vehicular traffic on that road and it is a spectacular (and much safer) ride.

2. Don't use Hwy. 84 (or 35) as your personal speedway for your motorcycle or sports car. You have NO RIGHT to do so and you are jeopardizing the safety of my neighbors and our visitors. Just...stop...it.

3. Don't drink beer all day at the beach and then drive through my community. Again, you have NO RIGHT to do this and you are jeopardizing the safety of my neighbors and our visitors.

I am constantly amazed at the ridiculously callous and stupid behavior of visitors to our community on weekends. Please behave yourselves - our lives depend on it.

Signed,

Frustrated La Hondan


2 people like this
Posted by Marsh
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 17, 2015 at 1:26 pm

This is my neighborhood. As I understand it, what Robin stated above is what happened.


6 people like this
Posted by June Curran
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 17, 2015 at 1:46 pm

I am sorry to learn of the death of another motorcycle driver. I must say though, that I am frightened and disgusted when the irresponsible and unsafe motorcycle drivers pass me, weaving hurriedly through traffic, especially on Bayshore and on 280. Is it any wonder there are not more accidents and deaths? I realize this is not the case with all motorcycle drivers, many of whom are safe and courteous. I am speaking of the other kind of motorcycle drivers - those who are daredevils or who are inebriated or abusing illegal drugs. Please, don't drive when you are high or drunk, and please slow down and drive safely!


6 people like this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Feb 17, 2015 at 3:28 pm

The driver of the truck was slowing to make a legal left turn with his signal on.
The motorcyclist tried to pass on the left and he ran into the rear of the trucking then slid under the rear axle.
A totally unnecessary accident that took one life and may well ruin another. Very sad! Our prayers go to all concerned.


9 people like this
Posted by MsRo
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Interesting to read all of the comments above. Just to let you all know, the motorcycle driver was my cousin's husband and he was a funny, personable guy who raised two kids and was looking forward to the wedding of his son. I have no idea what happened because I wasn't there so I will wait for the official report. I do agree that a momentary lapse in judgement may have been to blame and it is a high price to pay, but I see lousy drivers in all modes of transportation on the road everyday and have had more close calls than I care to think about. Let's all pay attention and slow down, okay? Thanks.


10 people like this
Posted by ASadDay
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Feb 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm

There were numerous witnesses to this event. The dump truck was being driven by a very responsible man who owns a local business that is well known among us horse people. He was absolutely not at fault, and was, and is, very upset about this. The man on the motorcycle was with two other friends, and all three went hellbent for leather around the dump truck as it slowed (signal on) to turn onto Olive Hill. The two friends went to the right, crossing the center line at high speed, behind the truck. The man who was killed sped up suddenly and tried to pass on the left at high speed. You can only imagine how fast he was going to hit the truck that hard.

The Harley Davidson crowd uses Canada Road, as well as the loop that goes from Olive Hill to Albion and around back to Canada Road, as their personal motor speedway. Normally responsible, personable, and careful men become aggressive, impatient maniacs when mounted on their motorcycles. Two years ago, I was nearly killed when one of them deliberately drove straight toward me (me on my horse) on Albion, then gunned his engine. Horse spooked and bucked. I got him under control, but he wiped out, hard, on the asphalt when spinning around. I hit the ground hard while still on his back; he shook me off, got up, and went galloping down Albion. Only the fact that he stopped and waited for me as I limped after him, then came when I called him kept him from being hit by yet another motorcycle that was whipping down Albion.

This tragedy yesterday was utterly avoidable. I'm very sorry for the loss of whom appears to be a well loved, wonderful man. I can only hope that this accident impresses itself upon other motorcyclists---stop being so impatient, and think before you act.



Like this comment
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 18, 2015 at 8:39 am

SteveC is a registered user.

Very sad situation for both families. And yes, it could have been prevented. Too late now. Please, slow down and drive safely @ all times.


Like this comment
Posted by Freebug
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Feb 26, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Freebug is a registered user.

I was there as well. The two buddies were to my right. The fellow that got nailed by the dump truck was NOT pinned under the truck. He hit it and then "slid" to the other side but was not pinned. He wasn't moving after going down and there were a bunch of people standing around gawking. I have basic first aid but he needed much more than that.

Luckily the police arrived quickly and the driver was on calling around so was everyone else. Police literally came over the rise a couple of minutes later.

The driver of the truck is also at fault IMHO because he needs to stop before crossing the double yellow to make his left. He was cruising through his turn thinking it was clear and DID not look in his mirror to verify.

Another thing, Friggen Harleys are loud as crap. It was warm that day and I had my windows down. As did the dump truck. There is fault there, if he didn't see - he for sure could HEAR.

Drive = Redwood City, looked like he wanted to get out of Dodge fast but couldn't because there were witnesses everywhere.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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