OCOTILLO WELLS, Calif. – A 39-year-old Riverside County man was killed when he was thrown from his off-road motorcycle in the Ocotillo Wells desert, authorities said Thursday.
The crash happened about 11 a.m. Wednesday in the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area, California Highway Patrol Officer Travis Garrow said.
The Corona resident, whose name was not immediately released, was riding a Kawasaki KLX 450R motorcycle eastbound through the desert parkland when he struck a sand dune at an unknown rate of speed, Garrow said.
After losing control of the dirt bike, the rider hit a second sand dune, “causing the motorcycle to go airborne (and) ejecting the rider,” Garrow said. The victim landed in a field of dirt and rocks where he suffered major injuries and later died.
Authorities do not believe alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash. The 85,000-acre desert and sand dune recreation area is operated by California State Parks and is a popular spot year-round for off-road riders in dune buggies, on all-terrain vehicles and on dirt bikes.