A collision on southbound U.S. Highway 101 left a motorcyclist dead in Palo Alto this evening after emergency crews headed to the crash were delayed by heavy traffic, firefighters said.
The crash was reported at 5:46 p.m. on southbound Highway 101 just north of Embarcadero Road. According to the California Highway Patrol, them motorcyclist was riding a 2014 Yamaha south on 101 at a "high rate of speed," despite the heavy traffic.
He was splitting lanes when traffic suddenly came to a complete stop, according to the CHP. The motorcyclist then crashed into the rear end of a Ford and was thrown off the Yamaha, according to the CHP. The driver of the Ford was not injured. She stayed at the scene to cooperate with the officers, police said. The motorcyclist, a 27-year-old Fremont resident, was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders.
The CHP said the victim's death was reported to dispatchers just before 6 p.m.
The first firefighters arrived on scene at 5:56 p.m., according to Menlo Park Fire Protection District Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman.
Traffic in the area was "terrible," Schapelhouman said, and it had a definite effect on the ability of first responders to assist the victim.
"We failed to be where we needed to be within a period of time," Schapelhouman said. "Whether that would have made a difference in this incident, I'm not sure."
Last week the district's board of directors adopted new standards establishing a goal of having the first firefighters on the scene of an incident within seven minutes of being reported to dispatch.
Firefighters were not able to meet that new standard when responding to tonight's fatal motorcycle crash, Schapelhouman said.
The CHP issued a Sig-alert for southbound Highway 101 at 6:06 p.m.