Longtime Fallbrook resident and owner of Walt’s Old Town Barber Shop in Murrieta, Walter L. Smith, Jr., 62, was killed in a vehicle accident Tuesday evening, August 27 in Vista. Smith lived in Fallbrook for the majority of his life before moving to Vista, where he resided.
Smith was driving his 2009 Suzuki Bergman 650 luxury scooter (motorcycle) westbound on Old River Road in Vista at approximately 40 miles per hour when a 20-year-old man from Vista, driving a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier failed to stop at the stop sign located at Little Gopher Canyon Road and Old River and entered the intersection.
According to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office, “The driver [of the Chevrolet] then made a quick turn to the right into [Smith’s] travel path.”
CHP public information officer Jim Bettencourt said Smith applied the brakes on the scooter to try and avoid a collision, but was “launched off the scooter into the roadway and landed on the pavement underneath the Chevrolet’s front bumper.
Bettencourt said officers and paramedics that responded to the 911 emergency call found Smith injured but responding to questions at the scene.
Smith was taken by helicopter to Palomar Medical Center and passed away from his injuries a short time later.
“Upon arrival [at Palomar], [Smith] was intubated and hospital staff initiated CPR,” it was stated in the Medical Examiner’s report. “Despite aggressive medical interventions, death was pronounced at 7:51 p.m.; an examination is yet to be scheduled.”
The cause of Smith’s death has been listed as blunt force trauma.