Family of motorcyclist killed on Altamont Pass sues

The family of a motorcyclist who died when he crashed in rural Alameda County east of Livermore last year is suing the county and the state transportation department, alleging unsafe road conditions led to his death.

The suit was filed in Alameda County Superior Court on Friday and names both Alameda County and Caltrans as defendants. The family of Benjamin Moreno, his wife and daughter, is seeking unspecified damages for wrongful death, dangerous condition of public property and negligence.

Moreno, 33, was riding his 2013 Triumph Speedmaster on Altamont Pass Road between Dyer Road and Grant Line Road at about 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 27, 2015, when he lost control of the bike, fell to the ground and was run over by a big-rig, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The big-rig driver didn’t stop after the crash, but it wasn’t clear immediately whether he realized he had run over Moreno. Moreno was taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley where he died from his injuries.

The road he crashed on was dangerous because of a high drop-off from the asphalt roadway to the shoulder, an improper grading slope from the asphalt roadway to the shoulder, a lack of warning for the drop-off, a lack of traffic control signals and high traffic density, according to the complaint.

The dangerous condition to the road led Moreno to lose control of his motorcycle and fall, the complaint alleges.

The road is owned and operated by both the county and Caltrans, according to the complaint. Caltrans and county officials were not immediately available for comment.