CHP cruiser
A California Highway Patrol cruiser. Courtesy CHP

California Highway Patrol accident investigators searched Thursday for the cause of a head-on collision that seriously injured a motorcyclist in Fallbrook, authorities said.

It happened around 6 a.m. Wednesday when a 20-year-old Riverside County man driving a 2015 Kia Optima drifted into oncoming traffic on East Mission Road approaching Macadamia Drive, CHP public-affairs Officer Mark Latulippe said. The westbound sedan crossed the double-yellow divider line directly into the path of a 35-year-old Anza man riding a 2017 Harley-Davidson Softail motorcycle.

“The two vehicle were involved in a head-on collision,” Latulippe said. “The rider of the motorcycle was ejected and landed south of the roadway in a dirt area.”

The rider, whose identity was not released, sustained major injuries and was taken by paramedics to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, Latulippe said. He remained hospitalized there in critical condition as of late Wednesday.

Portions of East Mission Drive near the crash scene, a little west of Interstate 15, were closed for several hours during the on-scene investigation, Latulippe said. Investigators were still trying to determine Thursday morning why the Hemet resident driving the Kia drifted into the victim’s path.

—City News Service