A woman who was reportedly learning to ride a motorcycle lost control and fell to her death from the third-level parking lot of a California shopping center.
Police were called to Westfield Valencia Town Center in the 24000 block of Town Center Drive at around 5 p.m. Monday. Upon arrival, they found that the victim, believed to be in her 20s, had fallen from the mall’s third-level parking lot, KNBC reported.
The woman was treated at the scene by the Los Angeles County Fire. She was later taken to a local hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.
Several people were allegedly teaching the woman how to ride a motorcycle when the incident took place. At one point, she lost control, veered into a wall and flew over the handlebar, the New York Post reported. The woman then plunged onto the ground below.
The woman’s friends stayed behind in the parking lot and helped officers with the preliminary investigation. Skid marks were seen on multiple spaces at the parking lot, but it remains unclear if they are from the woman or her companions, or if they had been there before the incident.
An unidentified person reportedly told authorities that a group of motorcyclists had been performing tricks at the parking lot. Police are now reviewing surveillance footage to confirm if the woman was really learning how to ride the motorcycle and not do stunts.
“I know friends want to teach people, but if you are that interested in [learning], take a professional course,” Sgt. David Shoemaker, who works with the L.A. Sheriff’s Department, said, as per New York Daily News.
According to Insurance Information Institute, more than 5,000 people died in motorcycle accidents in the United States in 2019 alone. In the same year, motorcyclists were also found to be 29 times more likely than car passengers to die in a crash per vehicle miles traveled.
Considering these numbers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration continues to urge motorcyclists to ride with care.
“If you ride a motorcycle, you already know how much fun riding can be. You understand the exhilaration of cruising the open road and the challenge of controlling a motorcycle. But motorcycling also can be dangerous,” the agency noted, adding that the activity also requires balance, coordination and good judgment.