UPDATE: Motorist Catapulted Off Freeway Overpass, Lands on Second Street

CHP closed Second Street after a man on a scooter fell from the overpass on to Second Street Wednesday afternoon while riding a Vespa with a dog in a pouch. The dog died in the incident, while the man sustained a slew of serious injuries.

A Petaluma man was transported to  with serious injuries Wednesday afternoon after being ejected from his motor scooter on the Hwy. 101 overpass above downtown San Rafael, landing on the roof of a car 40 feet below before rolling onto the Second Street sidewalk, law enforcement authorities said.

California Highway Patrol are still investigating the incident, according to officer Dave Jones. The man driving the Vespa scooter, Timothy Bergman, 42, sustained major injuries as a result of the collision, breaking his pelvis, femur, knee, wrist, ribs and scapula, CHP spokesman Eric Hohmeister said. San Rafael Fire Paramedics took Bergman to Marin General for treatment of his injuries. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision, Hohmeister said.

The incident occurred at 3:10 p.m. when Bergman was traveling northbound on Hwy. 101 at approximately 60mph and lost control of his scooter. He swerved and hit the center divider and was sent careening from the Vespa, falling through a gap between the elevated northbound and southbound portions of Hwy. 101 along the San Rafael Viaduct, Hohmeister said. 

Bergman fell approximately 40 feet, landing on a Volkswagen Jetta traveling down Second Street. The teenaged driver of the Jetta was unhurt in the incident, Hohmeister said.

Bergman was driving with a dog in a pouch on the Vespa. The dog hit the center divider with the man, and was killed by the impact or by an oncoming car, Jones said.

Police closed off on Second Street at Hetherton, but reopened all lanes around 4:40 p.m.

Robin Stevens August 29, 2012 at 11:57 PM
I didn't need to know about the dog in the pouch.....so sad.
Tricia Painter McKay August 30, 2012 at 12:41 AM
So true, I'm so sad for the doggy! I hope the man is okay!
Lothrop Withington Jr. August 30, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Poor dog...maybe the donor-cycle rider should be charged with animal cruelty
Anna Boucher August 30, 2012 at 01:54 PM
I don't think that he should be charged for animal cruelty. It was an accident. I think that he has suffered physically as well as emotionally for the loss of his best friend, his little dog. It wasn't the smartest idea to carry his dog in a pouch on a scooter and hopefully others will also learn how fragile life is and how dangerous scooters and motorcycles are.
Carol DeMartini August 30, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Thank you for the info on the rider. I wanted to know if he made it
Lou Judson August 30, 2012 at 02:54 PM
TWO THINGS STAND OUT FOR ME: a Vespa going 60 MPH? doesn't sound wise or safe to me. The curve is posted for 55. And, that overpass has a nice steady curve to it, but when they striped it for lanes, there is a jog right at the end of the curve before it becomes straight, meaning every driver needs to jog the wheel (or handlebars) to stay in the lane, except for the right lane where it can be done smoothly by crossing the line just a bit. If they re-striped the lanes to make a smooth curve without the jog at the end, I'll bet even a Vespa going 60 MPH (in a 55MPH poster curve) could make it without incident. It's one more example of CalTrans' poor planning, along with failing to bank curves when they rebuld the highways, such as Puerto Suello Hill Southbound... with banked curves cars practically steer themslves (Vespas too).
Kevin Moore August 30, 2012 at 04:02 PM
There is a good reason for going 60 on the corner, avoiding being run over! Traffic tends to run above the speed limit on 101. I think we all can agree that part of 101 has a weird jog to it and it's worse in the slow lane. It needs to be fixed, but now CalTrans risks a lawsuit. Another possible explanation is the Vespa had a mechanical failure and caused the crash. I am not a fan of the scooter type motorcycles due to the small wheels (deadly in a pothole) and people tend to take the risk far too casually as far as protective gear. The pavement is the same flying off a bicycle, scooter, or motorcycle. I always wear boots and a full face helmet. As for the dog. That is really sad. I hope it had a really good long life and was happy traveling with his owner, rather than being locked in a house. Some dogs really love traveling on a motorcycle. They just want to be with their owners. When there is an accident, there is not much protection for the rider, passenger, or pets. My uncle rode motorcycles and scooters until he was 86. After being hit almost killed by a car, he had to stop riding. Its the nature of motorcycles. I have 40+ years of riding experience.
Kevin Moore August 30, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Sending good thoughts to the rider. I hope he makes a speedy and full recovery.
Rico August 30, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Good points Lou, As for carrying a dog on a motor scooter, motorcycle or bicycle, I did not that was legal. Even if it is, I don't think it should be done, especially on a freeway. I wonder if the fact that he was carrying a dog had some contributing factor in his losing control of his scooter. I am saddened by the dog's death, it was the owners fault. But, I am glad that the kid driving the Jetta did not get hurt. I'll bet that he is having nightmares of flying scooters now, maybe forever. Just think if it was an older person with a weak heart, they might have had a heart attack. If there is not a law against sporting animals on two wheeled vehicles now, expect there to be one in the future.
Lou Judson August 30, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Actually, the right lane is the only one where you can cut the corener just a little and not need to jog with the lines (keep the railing the same distance from your vehicle until it straightens). In the other three lanes you risk a sideswipe if you make a steady smooth curve. All it would take is re-striping! I rode a Honda to Mendocino and back in 1968, Never will get on another two wheeled motor again. Just not my cuppa! All compassion for the two victims, not ignoring that!
Rich Rios August 30, 2012 at 11:34 PM
I just think it's way too dangerous to even drive a scooter on the freeway. Even though the dealerships claim its freeway legal. they're not built like a motorcycle which has a better handle on the road. where you can actually use the breaks better and slide the bike if needed to. I hope the guys survives this and gets better. That poor puppy in the pouch. I don't know the laws with dogs on bikes but it should be against the law to have any animal on a 2 wheel bike. I see commuters driving in San Francisco on they're road bikes with a small dog in the basket. Bad enough the city streets are crazy busy. why put a dog in the same situation with you?
Sharon Skolnick-Bagnoli August 31, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Scooters are not as safe as motorcycles, due to the small wheels. And you feel like you're sitting in a chair instead of driving a machine. I used to drive a Honda 90; it was a real motorcycle, with large wheels. Not freeway-legal, happy to say. Once I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge on it. Big mistake!! The wind was blowing me sideways, and there was no place to pull over! I wish the victim well. I was caught in the traffic backup on 2nd Street. I guess he could have landed on MY car's roof.... Very sad about his dog. Glad something was there to break the fall for the guy and absorb the impact. Sharon Skolnick-Bagnoli
Mollie Burg August 31, 2012 at 06:51 AM
You are all missing the mark, dramatically. It is not the vespa's fault, caltrans' fault, or the roadways fault. Thousands of people drive through that same location every day, all day, without any problems. However, our "victim" who has 5 prior DUI's on his record, a currently suspended license for DUI, and was driving a vehicle last registered in 2002 is treated as some sort of martyr. These criminal records are all public record. Additionally, when listening to police scanners yesterday, I was able to hear that once again, the "victim" had been drinking and was once again almost 3 times the legal limit. So, now that he is at the hospital, on life support, we as taxpayers have to continue to pay for this “victim” who in reality is a leech on our society and a social degenerate. The only victims in this situation are the poor little innocent dog, us as citizens who risk our lives driving on the same road with idiots such as him, and the 16 year old kid who has to pay for his own damages (which are substantial), because our “victim” has no insurance. The fact that this guy is still out in society, continually jeopardizing everyone’s lives, is a travesty. He should be locked up forever, and/or put to death, before he kills someone’s family member, because clearly he is never going to stop drinking and driving.
Magoo August 31, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr August 31, 2012 at 04:32 PM
@Mollie, right on! The driver should never drive a motor vehicle ever again in his lifetime with that kind of record. Where the hockey sticks are the legislature and courts. BTW, when someone does something stupid and an animal is hurt or, as in this case, killed; that IS animal cruelty. Let me guess, no medical insurance and no motor vehicle insurance, so guess who is paying for his expensive medical expenses?
Rico August 31, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Thanks Mollie for the investigative report. This guy is a problem child and should be punished and have his driving privileges revoked, but I don't agree with you about you thinking that he should be put to death. Perhaps a chemical lobotomy would do the trick, and also force him to only use the SMART train for transportation , he won't be going anywhere for at least 4 years.
Becca September 01, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Listening to police scanners? I understand your frustration and I agree with you but thats a little much.
Linda Archinal September 06, 2012 at 07:10 PM
This said 'update' I see no update just the same news as before. Come on don't even bother!
Ruth Bergman Crenshaw September 07, 2012 at 03:37 AM
You people need to get a life. There are other people involved in this that don't deserve this kind of talk. Tim is a good guy. Sure he's made some mistakes, but no-one deserves this. I don't know where you got the info about him being drunk Mollie, so until I hear it from someone that's a little more reliable (ie the hospital or police) I'll treat that as it deserves. As his sister, who is in constant contact with the hospital, I think I might know a bit more about his situation. It's hard enough with us all the way across the country, then to hear these hurtful words. I'm just glad my mother doesn't know about this site, as she's torn up already about it. People need to think before they post, and consider that there could be innocent people involved. And the idea of wishing someone dead is totally uncalled for.
Ruth Bergman Crenshaw September 07, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Thanks to everyone that expressed kindness in their posts, the family really appreciates it. And for those that condemned, I hope they never have to deal with anything like this in their lives. It must be great to be so perfect.
BJL September 07, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Hope the rider is getting better as well as the driver below - it must have been a very traumatic experience for all involved. I'm amazed that others actually know about "the jog" in the road, it that has always bugged me. Its just a paint issue..... the yellow line is wrong. For someone not ready for it... easy accident. Recently, have you see the road pavement/cement in the fast lane coming out of the waldo tunnel north bound for about 2 miles. Its so sharp and jagged I cannot believe it has not caused a blowout with a multiple vehicle accident. just tighen up those seat belts and hold on!
Mollie Burg September 11, 2012 at 07:25 AM
First of all, thousands of vehicles drive that section of road every day, all day long. There is clearly no issue with the road. Second, public arrest records show this “victim” has five prior dui convictions as well as a suspended license for those crimes. Third, he was drinking that day and driving a scooter that was last registered in 2002 which had no insurance. So, we have unambiguously established that the “victim” is irresponsible, negligent and imprudent. Furthermore, based upon his ongoing issue with drinking and driving, it is clear that his concern is not for the safety of others. This is a dangerous man we are dealing with who needs to be imprisoned before he inevitably kills someone which many drunk drivers manage to accomplish every day. In addition, since our “victim” is uninsured, the teen and his family will have to pay for all of the vehicle damage as well as any future psychological counseling required for the boy. And what about the cost to our taxpayers for the incredible amount of Police, Firefighters and Ambulance crews on scene. Add to that the immeasurable cost in delays to the public due to the traffic caused by our “victim.”The true tragedy here is not that a criminal with a lifelong history of misconduct was injured due to an “accident,” it is the fact that hundreds of innocent, law abiding people and a young boy were adversely affected by his careless and immature behavior which evidently has no end in sight.
ESwanson September 14, 2012 at 06:14 AM
Mollie, thank you for setting the record straight regarding Mr. Bergman. CHP report confirms the suspended license, no registration or insurance. Ruth as Mr. Bergman's sister you posted on 9/6/12 that "people need to think before they post because innocent people can be involved," I think it's more important for people to think before: (1) they drink and drive, (2) intentionally get behind the wheel of a vehicle that they know is not registered, (3) lack proper insurance for said vehicle, or (4) they have the privilege of driving revoked for prior offenses! Because as it turns out, innocent people, in this partucular case a law abiding innocent teenager, WAS the victim of such wrongful and illegal actions!
Ruth Bergman Crenshaw September 25, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Mollie, contrary to your wishes, my brother's doing better. And I would appreciate if you would stop lying about something you know nothing about. There was NO alcohol involved on that day. He was totally sober. And as far as the bike goes, it normally sits in the garage gathering dust. Yes Tim's made mistakes in the past, but that's in the past, and his family would appreciate if people would stop assuming the worst, and spreading misinformation and lies.
Ruth Bergman Crenshaw September 25, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Stop believing lies from people you don't know......
Ruth Bergman Crenshaw September 25, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Yes his license is suspended; he chose not to renew it when he legally could have gotten it back. He hasn't driven a car since. The bike has been sitting in the garage untouched for years. It was a spur of the moment decision that unfortunately went very wrong. There was no alcohol involved in this incident, contrary to Mollie's lies.


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