Retired CHP officer killed in Highway 41 motorcycle crash

September 18, 2016

CHP@A Paso Robles resident and retired CHP officer was killed Saturday morning while riding a motorcycle on Highway 41 near the Kern County line. A pickup truck swerved into the retired officer’s lane and struck his bike head-on, killing him instantly.

CHP officials have identified the victim as George Lester, 63. Lester retired from the CHP Coastal Division 11 years ago. He was a commercial officer assigned to the San Luis Obispo office at the time of his retirement.

Around 9:50 a.m., Lester was riding his 2014 Honda Goldwing northbound on Highway 41. Merced man Fidencio Vidriales, 64, was driving a 2015 Toyota Tacoma southbound on the highway.

Both men were traveling at about 65 mph prior to the crash. Investigators have yet to determine why Vidriales drove his pickup into Lester’s lane.

Vidriales sustained minor injuries during the crash, yet he was transported via a CHP helicopter to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center. Officers did not arrest Vidriales.

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I’m sure that the CHP asked Vidriales why he served into the opposing lane. I’d like to know his explanation. I wonder why the CHP won’t release that information.

Possible real reason for crash. Slostringer said there were reports of a white toyota pick-up trying to pass and running into a motorcycle.

Why is the our local CHP so secretive. Other CHP offices in Ca. give out information on whether someone is a licensed driver, etc. I can only imagine that at least 3 people at the scene or calling in said the Toyota was trying to pass.

Sun in the eyes shouldn’t have been a contributing factor just before 10am. Why do there continue to be so many horrific, deadly accidents on that stretch of the highway? George Lester should still be alive. I cannot imagine the anguish of his family.

Dear CHP. You lost another good one today at the hands of a sleeping? distracted? or just stupid driver. Seems lately its a weekly thing on either 41,46 or 166, and yet I rarely see the presence of you, why is that? I travel the 101 over the grade each day and its become like a race track. Seriously I can travel 80 keeping with the flow and still Im passed like Im standing still. Where the hell are you in the early commuter hours? Im not sure whats going on with folks but their pissed off, short fused and ready to kill one another over a few miles per hour. Do something before we have to mount 50 cal’s on the hoods of our vehicles just to defend ourselves trying to get to work.

Nobody drives anything close to the speed limit on 166. It’s a mess, and I never see LEOs out doing anything about it.

Perhaps it’s just a damn dangerous road? All the LEOs in the world can’t change that. Don’t like the odds? Stop driving.

Stop driving? Brilliant answer.

To “stop driving” may not seem like a practical answer to those stuck in their cars every day. I routinely travel 1/3 of the state for work and pleasure, but I rely on public transit and my own legs 100%. You know what? I experience more time to relax, less stress, and meet many interesting people because of the decision not to drive. I also save ~$400/mo which would have otherwise gone to the DMV, insurance companies, oil companies and banks.

Tragic, another example of being “dead right”.