Attorney speaks for innocent driver who hit bikers - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Attorney speaks for innocent driver who hit bikers

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It's a side of the story you haven't heard. An attorney is speaking for the innocent driver who hit a group of bikers.

The driver swerved to avoid a speeding car coming straight at him in his lane on Saturday near Ocotillo and lost control. Five people were killed, including the driver's girlfriend.

Carlos Ramirez, a father of two, remains hospitalized, still recovering from a fractured ankle, hand and other injuries. His attorney says he is as much a victim as all the other victims of the reckless driver who caused the accident.

"Carlos Ramirez did absolutely nothing wrong on that Saturday. He and his girlfriend were taking an innocent trip to San Diego to spend the weekend," attorney Sergio Feria said.

It was a weekend that changed so many lives forever. Ramirez, 36, an engineer from Mexicali, was driving along Highway 98 near Ocotillo Saturday afternoon when the driver of a gold Honda Civic heading in the opposite direction tried passing a group of motorcyclists and barreled into Ramirez's path. Authorities say Ramirez veered into the motorcycles to avoid the Honda, whose driver sped away.

"Anything that Carlos did that day, at that moment, at that time, is what anyone of us would have done, and anyone driving a car would have done to avoid that missile that was coming at him," Feria said.

Four of the motorcyclists, part of the Saddle Tramps motorcycle club in the East County, were killed, as was Ramirez's 31-year-old girlfriend Ana Gonzalez, a lawyer who also lived in Mexicali. The couple had plans to marry.

"He is hurt because of all of the losses to all the families and everybody involved, including his girlfriend," Feria said.

Ramirez was airlifted to UCSD Medical Center, where he still remains under sedation. His attorney deferred questions about the accident itself.

"Those are questions better put to Carlos at the appropriate time, when he's able to describe to the proper people what it was he saw," Feria said.

What is clear: blood alcohol tests done on Ramirez conducted after a CHP officer believed he smelled faintly of alcohol came back negative.

"The world needs to know alcohol was not an issue in this accident as it relates to Carlos Ramirez," Feria said.

On Wednesday night, Ramirez received a surprise hospital room visit from some of the members of the bike club, who expressed their condolences and support to Ramirez.

The search is still on for the driver of the gold Honda Civic who authorities say started this accident. Anyone with possible information on this case is urged to contact the CHP.

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