Malibu Surfside News

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

PCH Facility Spotlights Problematic Location

• Highway Ingress and Egress Raise Serious Safety Concerns

BY SUZANNE GULDIMANN


Malibu resident Joseph Annocki, 41, was killed in a fatal motorcycle collision on Pacific Coast Highway on the night of March 16. He is the first PCH fatality of 2011.
Annocki reportedly struck a vehicle whose driver was attempting to make an illegal left turn out of Geoffrey’s restaurant just before 9 p.m. The motorcyclist was declared dead at the scene. Eastbound lanes of the highway were closed until the next morning. The incident remains under investigation.
Law enforcement officials stated that the driver of the vehicle, described as a visitor from Oklahoma at the wheel of a rental car, could potentially be charged with misdemeanor manslaughter. Alcohol was not a factor, according to the Lost Hill’s Sheriff Station.
Initial reports indicate that the driver may not have realized that the Qwick Kurb paddles were the center divider of a four lane highway that only allows right turns at that location.
The initial assessment is that the man thought he could make a left turn and began heading into opposing traffic before realizing his mistake and attempting to reverse the vehicle and change course.
The motorcyclist, estimated to have been traveling at 60 mph, apparently attempted to swerve and brake, was able to slow or possibly stop the bike, but not in time to prevent the fatal collision.
Longtime west Malibu residents say that stretch of highway, which includes a beach easement, an apartment complex, Geoffrey’s restaurant’s driveway, a curve and a steep hill is often blocked by closely parked vehicles, and has been the site of a number of accidents, including at least one other fatality.
The paddles were installed several years ago in an effort to improve safety and eliminate illegal left turns.
Some highway safety advocates are asking whether more could be done to improve the safety of the highway in that area.

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