FORT IRWIN A 33-year-old Barstow man was killed after his motorcycle struck the rear side of a van near mile marker 21 on Fort Irwin Road around 6:35 a.m. Friday.

Luis Ernesto Perez was traveling northbound on Fort Irwin Road on his 2007 Suzuki motorcycle, according to a report from the California Highway Patrol. Perez, passing a slower moving vehicle ahead of him, crossed into the southbound lane before he realized a delivery van in front of the car he was passing was turning left from the northbound lane across the southbound lane and into a dirt turnout area. Perez attempted to stop, but collided with the left rear side of the van behind the rear wheel and was ejected from his motorcycle. He was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics, according to San Bernardino County Coroner's reports. The road at this location consists of a single northbound and southbound lane, both separated by broken double yellow painted lines, according to the CHP report.

The collision occurred just before the army tanks about 150 feet off post, said Fort Irwin Spokesman John Wagstaffe.

According to CHP Spokesman Officer Taj Johnson, officers received the call at about 6:30 a.m. and shut down traffic coming out of Fort Irwin until 11:30 a.m. He said traffic going northbound into the fort was diverted onto a truck bypass road.

The last fatality that happened on Fort Irwin Road since improvements were made in 2006 occurred April 2008, Wagstaffe said. A worker fell asleep, swerved out of his lane and hit a cement mixer in the opposite lane, he said. Prior to the road being fixed, Wagstaffe said, many of the fatalities occurred because the driver fell asleep.
The numerous crosses put in place by military police on post mark fatalities that have happened along the road, he said.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4123 or jcejnar@desertdispatch.com

Deaths on Fort Irwin Road:
Since street improvement, November 2006: Two.
Between 1988 and 1992: About one a month.

Source: Fort Irwin Spokesman John Wagstaffe