Funeral Escort Motorcycle Crash Sends Driver to Hospital

SigAlert declared on the Ventura Freeway near Tujunga Avenue exit.

A civilian motorcyclist escorting a funeral procession was injured when his bike was struck by another vehicle on the westbound Ventura Freeway in Studio City on Saturday, a California Highway Patrol officer said.

The collision took place near the Tujunga Avenue exit on the 101 Freeway around noon, CHP Officer Francisco Villalobos said.

"The motorcyclist who was accompanying a funeral procession at the time was struck by a Nissan truck," Villalobos said.

Fire department paramedics took the victim to a hospital for treatment of injuries suffered in the crash, said fire department spokesman Brian Humphrey. There was no word on his condition.     

The crash shut down several lanes of the freeway and a SigAlert was declared, Villalobos said.

As of 1:15 p.m. only the No. 5 lane was still closed but CHP investigators were still at the scene, Villalobos said. The crash remained under investigation, he said.

California law does not allow funeral escorts to have any unusual driving privileges, and they are not licensed or allowed to perform police functions such as directing traffic, stopping cars or running signals, police have said.

Gary Eckstein December 31, 2012 at 04:56 AM
In Dallas,Texas it's common to have (non-police) motorcycle escorts for funerals. The law plainly states that these escorts may not block intersections or ignore traffic signals both of which they do often. There are other laws here such as it being illegal to pass a funeral procession. In practice this means you cannot pass the hearse. Many of the older citizens still pull over or hang back to let a funeral pass. The Patriot Guard Riders are an all civilian group which ride to honor veterans. They're serious people. Commercial funeral escort services here, unfortunally, employ a lot of cowboys and showboaters. Some get hit every year.
Glen Marz September 06, 2013 at 12:28 PM
In fact, under CHP Special Order 23, Funeral Escorts are permitted to control intersections and freeway on ramps to ensure the processions safety. Even though there are laws (PC 594.35) requiring motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to not only yield to a funeral procession, in California, there are people that are not aware of the law. In addition, others are doing everything BUT driving their cars, and there are those who will intentionally interfere. Many of the funeral escorts are retired police officers, and all go through training in procession procedures.
Anthony Perez September 09, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Well! Allen is your example of a real asshole driver in fact that the guy is not directly involved in a funerals daily tells me that he and millions of others just simply don't care or don't know! But myself have been close to being given the "Last Ride" due to impatient drivers. I own my own Funeral Escort company in Ca, and we run blue and yellow lights and siren, and trust me Allen, I would never put my guys or another at risk because we want to control you, because its not about you. there is no hurry to get the dead to their hole, its just a time issue with funeral homes and cemeteries and for the fact that if you have just 10 cars in a procession can cause real big problems. So if you could please be more patient and respectful it would be appreciated. Next time you are part of a procession observe for yourself all of the others that don t care.
Al Jefferson November 01, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Anybody need a JOB. Want to know why we want siren & lights. I can only speak for ME I am only here to give anyone their last dignified Escort. Now for ALL the disrespectful people that make the job DANGEROUS. I have a family that i want to see every nite. Why when everybody knows that a FUNERAL Procession is coming show them the same amount of respect that you want for your family.
Al Jefferson November 01, 2013 at 03:11 PM
We all have a job to do , but when you have people who need a siren or light to show respect what type of day do you think WE all have? Why does it take lights & siren for ALL of you to show some respect to the family and the people who are working the procession


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