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Victim ID'd in Motorcycle Accident With Big Blue Bus

The investigation into Tuesday's fatal accident at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Marquez Avenue in Pacific Palisades is ongoing.

The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office Wednesday identified the motorcyclist in Tuesday's fatal accident with a Santa Monica city bus on Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades.

Patrick Chilton O'Dell, 25, of Van Nuys, was riding a 2008 Honda motorcycle westbound on Sunset Boulevard when it collided with a Big Blue Bus negotiating a left turn from southbound Marquez Ave to eastbound Sunset Boulevard. Assistant Chief Ed Winter at the coroner's office said an autopsy and investigation are pending.

Investigators in the West Traffic Division of the Los Angeles Police Department say speed was the main factor in the accident, and witnesses say O'Dell ran a red light prior to the accident.

"We're looking at everything," said Officer Darryl Jacobs on Wednesday, saying they are looking at statements provided by the bus driver.

"The bus company has their investigator too," Jacobs added.

Marquez Avenue splits into two lanes east and westbound for vehicles coming onto Sunset Boulevard, with buses allowed to make left hand turns from the stop sign on the westbound Marquez Avenue turn.

Jacobs said he's not sure why buses are instructed to go to that westbound stop sign rather than the eastbound traffic signal.

"It's been like that for quite some time," he said about the bus route.

He also noted incidents like this are rare, especially a fatality between a bus and a motorcycle.

CK November 25, 2012 at 07:00 PM
I agree with the issue of bus traffic making left hand turns from either the triangle between the split lanes of road, or from the right turn only lane at Marquez. It is very common in my personal experience that the bus drivers are overly aggressive at pulling their vehicles rapidly onto Sunset, directly into oncoming traffic. I can't imagine that the decision to exempt buses from the no left turn except at the light rule was made to accommodate anyone except for the commercial interests of the bus company. CLEARLY this needs to be reevaluated immediately to protect motorists and pedestrians. Regardless of the circumstances involved in this particular tragedy, now that a light is shining on this issue, let's deal with it. Does anyone really think that bus drivers are somehow more capable than other motorists at avoiding a collision with oncoming traffic and pedestrians, allowing them to be exempted from basic traffic law and common sense? Really? Come on now. Let's get this fixed. Buses need to use the traffic light just like everyone else. Period.
Gleebi November 26, 2012 at 03:30 PM
I'd like to add my personal experience with the Big Blue Bus (BBB). I drive all around the westside and have many times been fearful of my and my family/passengers safety from the BBB drivers. On one occasion, eastbound on Santa Monica Boulevard, a BBB was hurtling so fast on the far right lane, it nearly took me out during a lane change. I let the bus pass and was shocked to see the driver eating her breakfast while operating the bus. I also note that the BBB in this incident was "empty" - as I so often see them. I am sorry for this young man's life and it does seem like the "authorities" may be rallying around one of their own. BBB drivers seem to be overly aggressive and perhaps more incentivized to stay on schedule than observer traffic safety. Our prayers go out to Mr. Odell's family.
Concerned citizen December 01, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Sorry to hear of this death. Always tragic. I live along that stretch of Sunset and it is a well known stretch for motorcyclists, coming out of the S turn at full speed, to open it up in the straightaway. Sit there any evening or weekend and motorcycles are often roaring thru there at 70 or 80+ mph. If LAPD won't create deterrents, perhaps accidents like these will.
Chloe Milena December 01, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Hi Kelly, Has the family looked into a personal injury/wrongful death attorney? If not, they should contact the same pi attorney used by the Kelly Thomas family. His name is Garo Mardirossian.
Ms. DPat January 26, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Odell was speeding, ran a red light and ran smack into a bus that was already in the middle of a full turn. My condolences go out to his family but this was his totally his fault. what if the bus was full of passengers? He probably would have killed them while killing himself. What does his family need an attorney for? He was CLEARLY in the wrong.

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