A motorcyclist killed in a collision on the Ortega (74) Highway just west of Lake Elsinore apparently lost control on a curve and ended up in the path of oncoming traffic, authorities said Monday.
The fatality happened about 8:45 a.m. Sunday on the westbound side of the 74, near Vista Point, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Officer Mike Lassig said the victim, a 57-year-old Laguna Niguel man whose name was withheld pending family notification, was riding his 2005 Buell motorcycle west on the narrow two-lane corridor, traveling about 50 mph.
As the motorcyclist tried to negotiate a bend in the road, he went into the eastbound lane — directly in front of a 2016 Nissan Frontier pickup truck driven by a 36-year-old Corona man, Lassig said.
“The Nissan driver applied his vehicle’s brakes and steered toward the right shoulder in an attempt to avoid the motorcycle,” the CHP spokesman said. “He was unable to avoid the motorcycle.”
The two vehicles collided head-on, and the motorcyclist was hurled onto the pavement, according to Lassig. Riverside County Fire Department paramedics arrived within a few minutes and pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
The Nissan driver was not hurt.
The highway was partially closed for several hours while a preliminary investigation was conducted.