August 5, 2002
Motorcycle officer suffers minor injuries in
By Jennifer McNulty
UCSC police officer Brian Cabriales suffered a fractured finger and
bruises after he collided with a motorist and was thrown from his motorcycle
while on duty July 26, according to police.
Officer Brian Cabriales was thrown about 15 feet in the accident.
Photo: UCSC Police
The accident occurred at about 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of Hagar
and Coolidge Drives near the base of campus. Cabriales was southbound
on Coolidge traveling at a speed of about 30 miles per hour when a motorist
pulled out from the stop sign on Hagar Court in front of Cabriales.
The officer struck the car and was thrown about 15 feet, said UCSC police
Sgt. Steve James, who responded to the radio call from Cabriales.
"He was extremely lucky," James said of Cabriales. "In
light of the amount of damage to the motorcycle and the car, you wouldn't
believe anybody would've walked away from that accident. It was pretty
bad." Both vehicles were totaled, said James.
Cabriales, who was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, was
taken by ambulance to Dominican Hospital, where he was examined and
released by 5 p.m., said James.
The motorist, who was on campus to donate his 1989 Ford Escort to Shakespeare
Santa Cruz, was unfamiliar with the campus, mistook the intersection
for a four-way stop, and expected Cabriales would stop, said James.
The accident was investigated by the Santa Cruz Police Department because
campus police do not investigate accidents involving their own officers.
The motorist was sent a right-of-way violation, an infraction that carries
a fine, said James.
Cabriales, who joined the UC Santa Cruz Police Department in February
2000, is off work until his injuries allow him to return. He joined
the department's motorcycle patrol unit earlier this year.
Motorcycles are a valuable tool for traffic control and enforcement
both on and off campus, said James. The department bought the 1989 Kawasaki
KZ1000 Cabriales was riding from the UC Irvine Police Department when
it ended its motorcycle program. The department intends to replace the
The intersection of Hagar and Coolidge has been the scene of several
accidents, and the campus has applied for a grant from the California
Department of Transportation to install a traffic signal, said Wes Scott,
UCSC director of Transportation and Parking Services. Grant recipients
will be announced in late August, but Scott made sure Caltrans was notified
of this most recent accident, which he said should improve the campus's
chances of getting the $220,000 grant.
"I can't say I'm confident, but I will say I'm hopeful,"
said Scott, adding that construction of a traffic light at the intersection
of Coolidge Drive and the turnoff to the Physical Plant will likely
begin in September. "It will go out to bid in a couple of weeks,"
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