A Santa Ana man who wore no helmet but carried one on his scooter was seriously injured when he lost control of the vehicle and struck a car, throwing him headfirst onto the road, Fullerton police said Wednesday.
Mike Pimental, 22, was riding his scooter north on the 1300 block of North Lemon Street in Fullerton on Tuesday night and tried to turn into a downhill curve next to Lemon Park. He then drifted over the center line, sideswiping an oncoming car, said Police Officer Tim Beason.
He remained in critical condition Wednesday with head injuries at United Western Medical Center-Santa Ana. No one else was injured in the accident.
"He would not have been this badly injured if he had worn the helmet," Beason said. "He even had it with him. It would have helped."
Pimental's father, Danny, said Wednesday that his son was in an induced coma after his brain swelled. The man's vital signs were strong, though.
Pimental usually wore a helmet, his father said. He said his son had been on his way to practice with a band.
"These kids all think they're indestructible," Danny Pimental said.
Despite repeated motorcycle accidents in California that end in injury or death to drivers not wearing helmets, Gov. George Deukmejian has vetoed bills requiring helmets.
"I see people with helmets but not wearing them all the time," Officer Beason said. "It doesn't make any sense."