Man Dies When His Motorcycle Hits Rail

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 22-year-old Costa Mesa man was killed early Monday when his motorcycle slammed into a guard rail on a winding stretch of Ortega Highway about two miles from the Riverside County line, authorities said.

The rider was speeding eastbound, accelerating in the curves almost as if testing his 1993 Suzuki, said Officer Steve Haro of the California Highway Patrol.

Police said the motorcyclist was driving about 70 mph in an area posted for 55 mph and had been seen miles earlier rocking his motorcycle from side to side and speeding up in the road's tight turns.

"Due to his high speed, he was unable to negotiate the curve in the roadway," Haro said. "The victim's motorcycle went down on its right side and the victim slid across the asphalt with it."

The motorcycle struck the guard rail with such force the rider was tossed about 80 feet, CHP Officer Tammy Sanchez said. The rider's name has not been released.

The accident marked the second serious wreck on the highway this month.

On June 6, five people were injured when the driver of a commuter van swerved to avoid an oncoming motorist and rolled down an embankment, authorities said.

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