Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Fatal Motorcycle Accident Blocks McClure Tunnel to PCH Saturday night

Female passenger of motorcycle died just before midnight Saturday, Man in Hospital

Last night at the McClure tunnel right where the 10 Freeway curves onto PCH, a couple were riding a motorcycle. It was just before midnight and the moon was full. The motorcycle entered the tunnel, but never came out.

The collision with a black Toyota Camry ejected both motorcycle bikers onto the road. The bikers were soon in an ambulance and in critical condition, on their way to Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center.

It will perhaps not surprise you to learn that the driver of the Camry was uninjured. In a collision between motorcycles and cars, the cars always win and the motorcycle riders lose.

SMPD's Major Accident Response Team responded to the collision to conduct an investigation. A preliminary investigation revealed both vehicles were travelling northbound along PCH. While proceeding northbound, the motorcycle swerved into the vehicle. PCH was shut down for several hours. The California Highway Patrol and Cal Trans assisted with closure of Pacific Coast Highway.

Unfortunately, the passenger rider of the motorcycle succumbed to her injuries. Meanwhile the motorcyclist remains at a local hospital in critical condition.

Police are interested in speaking with anyone who was in the area near the time of the collision. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Investigator Jason Olson at (310) 458-8954.

The McClure Tunnel is a tunnel in Santa Monica, California, that connects Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1) to the terminus of the Santa Monica Freeway (Interstate 10). The tunnel passes underneath the intersection of Colorado Avenue and Ocean Avenue, and the southern end of Palisades Park, next to the entrance to the Santa Monica Pier. The length of the McClure Tunnel is about 400 feet.

The tunnel was originally constructed as a Southern Pacific Railroad tunnel intended to enable the railroad to take trains to Santa Monica's Long Wharf. (This tunnel, and the ocean view to the left that suddenly appears as the passenger moves westward out of the curved tunnel, was depicted in a brief 1898 Edison Studios film called Going Through the Tunnel.

It was demolished and reconstructed in Works Progress Administration Moderne style as an auto tunnel, known as the Olympic Tunnel and opened in 1936. The freeway connected to the tunnel in 1966, and in 1969 the tunnel was officially renamed in honor of Robert E. McClure, editor of the Santa Monica Outlook newspaper and a longtime advocate for the freeway.


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