Teen Dies of Injuries in Dirt Bike Collision

A 17-year-old Moorpark boy died Monday of severe head injuries he suffered in a motorcycle accident over the weekend, authorities said.

John Lopez, who received his motorcycle as a birthday gift on June 12, was taken off life support around 5 a.m. at Ventura County Medical Center, authorities said.

Lopez was driving one of two motorcycles, each carrying two teenagers, that collided head-on about 6:30 p.m. Saturday on a fire road that crosses private property just east of Grimes Canyon Road and south of Broadway, authorities said.

Three of the teens were airlifted to area hospitals. The fourth was treated and released at the scene.

Lopez was taken by helicopter to the Ventura County Medical Center in Ventura, where he was declared brain dead at 2 p.m. Sunday, the result of severe head injuries.

Anthony Paletta, 17, of Moorpark, Lopez's passenger, remained in very serious condition at Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. He suffered head trauma and a right wrist fracture, a Los Robles spokesman said.

A 16-year-old Simi Valley boy was taken to St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, where he was listed in stable condition Monday. Ventura County sheriff's deputies declined to identify the 16-year-old, citing his parents' request.

Debra Mahatadse, 18, of Moorpark, who was riding on the motorcycle driven by the unidentified Simi Valley teen, was treated and released at the scene. Mahatadse went for help after the accident, Moorpark deputies said.

The teens were riding their dirt bikes toward each other on a fire road Saturday evening when they collided while turning along a blind curve, according to California Highway Patrol officers. Lopez was the only one of the group not wearing a helmet, officers said.

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