Motocyclist dies in traffic collision

chp.jpg(CHP press release) On Sunday, August 3, 2014, at approximately 11:15 A.M., California Highway Patrol (CHP) Bishop Communications Center received a report of a motorcycle versus vehicle injury collision on US-395 at Picnic Grounds Road.  Two CHP officers and a sergeant from the Mammoth Lakes Resident Post and one officer from the CHP Bridgeport Area office responded to the collision location and initiated an investigation into the cause of the incident. 

The driver of the motorcycle, Mr. James McGifford, age 59, of Dayton, Nevada, was at the scene being attended to by Mono County Paramedics.  Mr. McGifford was unconscious and had major visual injuries.  CHP investigators determined that Ms. Shirley Liang, age 24, of Cupertino, CA was driving her silver 2009 Audi on US-395 Southbound attempting to make a left turn onto Picnic Grounds Road.  Mr. McGifford was riding his black 1998 Harley Davidson motorcycle on US-395 Northbound approaching Picnic Grounds Road. 

As Ms. Liang made the left hand turn, she moved her vehicle directly into the path of the motorcycle.  Mr. McGifford was unable to stop his motorcycle and collided with the right side of the Audi.  Mr. McGifford was transported by Mono County Paramedic Fire/Rescue Medic 2 toward Mammoth Lakes Hospital for treatment of his injuries.  While in route to the hospital, Mr. McGifford succumbed to his injuries. 

Mr. McGifford was wearing a helmet and motorcycle safety equipment.  Ms. Liang had no injuries from the collision.  Ms. Liang’s passenger, a Mr. Oliver Caspari, of Stanford, CA, had minor abrasions to his right arm.  Personnel from the Lee Vining Fire Department, Mono County Sheriff’s Department, US Forest Service, Caltrans, Lee Vining Tow, and Mike’s Auto & Tow assisted at the scene.  The collision remains under investigation.

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7 Responses to Motocyclist dies in traffic collision

  1. bikebrainiac August 5, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    As one who rides bicycles and motorcycles, I can well attest to the defensive posture that all who ride have to assume.
    Unfortunately for Mr. McGifford, he was unable to fend off this one. Very sad indeed. Condolences to the family and especially the posters here who lost a brother and a father also victims of another driver not paying attention.

  2. Delores McGifford August 5, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    For my brother, James Houston McGifford.
    July 17, 1955 – August 3, 2014
    Rest in Peace

    Tribute To A Fallen Brother

    By: Bob “Bikerwolf” Bryant

    There is a certain pride
    To a biker from the South

    His soul shines through in his actions

    Also the words that come from his mouth

    The people that he truly loves

    They are often very few

    But they all know who they are

    They know for them the things he’ll do

    He will be there for his children

    No matter what the cost

    He’ll also be there for his woman

    When she needs him most

    He’s there for his brothers and his sisters

    With a quick joke and a brew

    He’s also there when all they need

    Is just someone to talk to

    There are few men like this

    Weather you search far or wide

    It is a terrible tragedy

    When a Brother like this, takes his final ride

    But a man such as this

    Even after he is gone

    Has not left you alone at all

    Cause his spirit will carry on

    He’ll be there when you wake up

    On a bright sunny, summer day

    His memories will always make you smile

    When your world has turned to gray

    There’s pain in your heart now

    cause you’ll never again hear him say

    “Come on Cheer the hell up man”


    “Let’s roll some miles away”

    But know when you roll out

    To take off for a ride

    He’ll be there beside you

    His spirit riding by your side

    Know that your brother

    On heavens roads will now roll

    On his brand new Harley

    That he fabricated from heaven’s gold

    Then just think of the day

    That you will see him again

    He’ll be at the gates to welcome us home

    Wearing that Big Ol’ Southern Grin

    Copyright 2002 :All Rights Reserved

    Please, if you drive…be very aware that bikers share the road with you…so share the road with them and give them the room they deserve.

  3. Angela Perez August 5, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

    This was my father that died. I understand people think that the motorcylce itself is dangerous because its obvious choice to blame. My dad has ridden a motorcycle for 39+ years and has always said that its not the motorcycle that is dangerous, it’s all the other idiots out there you have to worry about. This was just a moment in time when he was unable to avoid the other idiot. To all other motorcyclists and drivers of cars and trucks, please be aware at all times while driving.

  4. P. McQ August 5, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    We were driving to Reno from this area right after this accident happened and saw the lone motorcycle on its side in the middle of the road, with the absent owner’s belongings strewn all around it. It was such a sad thing to witness and just couldn’t help but say to my husband, “motor cycles are so dangerous.” May our good Lord comfort the families on both sides involved in this heartbreaking demise.

  5. DESCO August 4, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    When you are on a motorcycle you’re invisible. It’s the first thing you should learn when you get one. Sorry for everyone involved.

  6. Desert Tortoise August 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    Yeeesh, every motorcycle riders nightmare scenario. One of the few situations that can bite even the most careful rider.

  7. OHV August 4, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    Ms. Liang should have to give up her driver lic. Exactly why I don’t ride on the street anymore.

    RIP Mr. McGifford


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