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Motorcyclist Dies after Rear-Ending SUV in Merced County

Motorcycle Accident, Merced County, CA

37-Year-Old Andrew Lopez Died after Rear-Ending an SUV on State Route 165 just North of River Road in Merced County

Merced County, CA -In the quiet of the night on a stretch of Highway 165 in Merced County, a tragic event unfolded that would end fatally for a local motorcyclist. The incident, which involved a collision between a motorcycle and an SUV, raises significant legal and safety questions.

The Incident

On the night of Sunday, April 29, 2024, at approximately 9:18 p.m., a severe traffic accident occurred on State Route 165, just north of River Road in Merced County. A 37-year-old man from Turlock, riding a 2019 Harley Davidson, collided with the rear of a 2011 Chevrolet Suburban. The impact was devastating enough to eject the motorcyclist off the bridge spanning the Merced River.

The Chevrolet Suburban, driven by 23-year-old Juan Granados of Stevinson, was reportedly traveling north at about 40 miles per hour when the motorcycle, moving at a high rate of speed, struck it from behind. The collision’s force threw the motorcyclist from his bike and off the bridge, leading to fatal injuries.

Emergency response teams arrived at the scene shortly after the accident, where they found the rider at the base of the bridge, having already succumbed to his injuries. The driver of the Suburban was not injured and cooperated with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers at the scene. The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the CHP, who noted that Granados was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.

Legal Implications 

The tragic accident on Highway 165 not only highlights the risks associated with high-speed motorcycle riding but also underscores the importance of vigilant driving, especially near motorcyclists. Legally, this incident could lead to several considerations, such as determining fault based on vehicular speeds and the motorcyclist’s actions prior to the collision. Typically, in cases like these, liability might be contested, and the exact details of vehicle positioning and speeds will be crucial.

In 2023, statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) highlighted an increase in motorcyclist fatalities, accounting for 14% of all traffic-related deaths. The vulnerability of motorcyclists is significantly higher compared to other motorists, with speed and visibility often playing critical roles in accidents. This incident may also stir discussions on the adequacy of barriers and safety measures on bridges and elevated roads, which are common sites for severe motorcycle accidents.

The legal proceedings following such accidents can be complex, involving detailed reconstructions of the accident and assessments of both parties’ driving behaviors. For survivors and the families of deceased victims, navigating the aftermath without legal assistance can be daunting, underscoring the need for experienced personal injury attorneys who specialize in motorcycle accidents.

The loss of life in any accident is a somber reminder of the unexpected dangers on the road. It is imperative for victims and their families to seek competent legal representation to navigate the complexities of accident claims and to ensure justice is served. The Scranton Law Firm, with over 50 years of experience and a track record of recovering over $1 billion for clients, stands ready to support and guide those affected by such tragic circumstances.

Whether dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, such as the one on Highway 165, or any other type of vehicular incident, having a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can make a significant difference. The attorneys at Scranton Law Firm are skilled in handling cases involving serious injuries and wrongful death, ensuring that clients receive the compensation they deserve while holding responsible parties accountable.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a similar incident, do not hesitate to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer at Scranton Law Firm. Our dedicated team is committed to providing empathetic, expert legal counsel to help you through these challenging times. Reach out today to ensure your rights and future are protected.


  1. What are the legal steps to take immediately after a motorcycle accident? After a motorcycle accident, it is crucial to first ensure the safety and medical needs of all parties involved. Contact the police to file an official accident report, gather witness statements, and take photographs of the scene. Consulting a personal injury attorney can also help in understanding your rights and the necessary steps to pursue a claim.

  2. How can an attorney help if the other driver was not under the influence? Even if the other driver was not under the influence, an attorney can assist by investigating the accident, establishing liability, and negotiating with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation for damages and injuries sustained. They handle all aspects of the claim, allowing you to focus on recovery.

  3. What compensation can be sought in motorcycle accident cases? Compensation in motorcycle accidents may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and sometimes punitive damages if negligence is proven. An experienced attorney can evaluate your case and help in recovering the maximum compensation available under the law.

  4. Are there specific safety laws for motorcyclists in California? Yes, California has specific safety laws for motorcyclists, including helmet laws, lane splitting regulations, and minimum insurance requirements. Understanding these laws can help in determining compliance and liability in the event of an accident.

  5. What should I do if the accident involved a bridge or other hazardous road conditions? Accidents involving hazardous road conditions like bridges may involve additional legal complexities, such as potential claims against governmental entities for negligence in road maintenance. An attorney can help identify all potential defendants and explore your legal options.


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Don’t navigate the aftermath of a motorcycle accident alone. Let the Scranton Law Firm stand by your side. With over 50 years of experience as personal injury lawyers, we’ve helped thousands recover from their losses. If you or a loved one are affected by a Merced County motorcycle accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Secure your rights and seek the justice you deserve. Call us now for a free consultation – The Scranton Law Firm, your trusted ally in these challenging times. Call 800-707-0707 now.