Freeway Crash Kills Motorcyclist

A 29-year-old Crescent City man is dead after colliding with a van driven by a Claremont resident.

A 29-year-old man was killed Thursday when his motorcycle slammed into the back of a vehicle that moved into his lane.

James R. Chappell, of Crescent City, died at 8:33 a.m. at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton.

The crash was reported at 6:55 a.m. on the westbound Interstate 210 in La Verne. Authorities said Chappell was riding a 2002 Honda motorcycle in the carpool lane at the time of the crash.

Demetrio Hechanova, 58, of Claremont was just ahead of Chappell in a 2010 Ford E-350 Van. Investigators said the elder man had been in the fast lane but crossed the double yellow lines and merged into the carpool lane when he encountered slowing traffic.

His lane change forced Chappell to brake hard but it was too late, investigators said.

Chapell struck the back of the van, flew off the bike and onto the roadway, CHP officials said. Los Angeles County Fire crews and CHP officers tried to restrain Chappell so he could be flown to a hospital but his injuries caused him to become combative, officials said.

Instead, he was taken by ambulance to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton where he died.

An investigation into the crash was ongoing, CHP officials said.

Marcygk September 16, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Are you Kathy P's daughter? I worked at UHS.. I am so sorry for this tragedy- I see cara/trucks crossing yellow all the time.
Anonymous September 17, 2012 at 06:02 AM
Stereotypes don't prove anything in this case. All reports show that Demetrio Hechanova crossed a double yellow line which caused the accident. Please be respectful of the family to mourn the loss of their loved one.
Joe October 19, 2012 at 04:46 AM
To all you who are calling Mr. Hechanova a killer etc. Where you there to know what happened? If you are from CA you should know that there's always a moron who slams the breaks in from of you at the last min. I'm pretty sure some of you have encounter this situation on our lovely SCal freeways. So what do you do when that happens? Maneuver, right? So if this so called innocent motorcyclist knows the danger of riding a motorcycle (no protection agains a collision whatsoever) and has a family of it's own, why on earth is he doing riding a motorcycle? So who's there to blame for his choices? People please every decision has consequences. In those unfortunate case the moron who slammed the breaks in front Mr. Hechanova is the one to blame, but where's this imbecile now? Since there's no one to blame, lets blame it on the next guy right? For the record, if I had a pregnant wife & kids, I won't put my life at risk by riding a motorcycle. We all know very well it's UNSAFE!! James time was up, may he rest in peace. Now let the other guy move along with his life. An eye per eye won't get this man back to life.
Jen Bausch October 23, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Jimmy was an amazing person, friend, father etc! He served the country you call home in many ways!! Just because he rode a motorcycle does NOT make him unsafe, to blame or irresponsible! And for you to post comments about him in a negative light is absolute bs! If only you knew what an amazing person you never did or ever will have the pleasure of meeting you wouldn't be saying this! We know he can't be brought back but this man needs to be held accountable for what he has done PERIOD! Imagine being your children's hero, fighting the wars, coming back home & still protecting our country just to have some idiot in a hurry take him out like that! You have no decency whatsoever! That "man" knew better to cross the double yellow lines & now the world has lost an amazing person, father & husband! Until you know all the details about something maybe do some research!! To the entire Chappall family, my prayers & thoughts are with you all! We all miss you so much Jimmy & pray there's justice for you & your family!!
Megan April 23, 2013 at 03:36 AM
There is a special place in hell for ignorant people like you Joe. How dare you even begin to judge my husband or what happened that day. You don't know him, you don't know me or our children and you don't know the facts. Several laws were broken that day by the person you're defending that took my husband's life. My husband wasn't responsible for ANY of the accident and simply riding a motorcycle isn't a crime. What a coward you are to post such stupid things on here. If you have something to say I will gladly meet with you and you can look in my eyes and the eyes of our kids and tell them their Daddy was an idiot for following all the laws and riding safe after 10 years of experience. Shame on you.


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