Last weekend, Sandy Desoto, a prominent physical trainer who operated at the Venice Gold’s Gym, was hit by a car while riding her motorcycle in Santa Monica. After a week in a local hospital, her life support was withdrawn on May 12 and she died as a result of her injuries.
Paul Abrams, a 74-year-old New Jersey man, was driving southbound on Ocean Avenue just before 11:30 p.m. on May 7 when he decided to turn around and go back in the other direction with an unsafe U-turn. While attempting to complete this turning movement across Ocean Avenue, Abrams did not see the oncoming Desoto on her motorcycle and turned in front of her.
Desoto was unable to avoid the collision and struck the driver’s door of the car. Upon collision, she was thrown from her motorcycle onto the pavement. She was treated at the scene and transported to a local hospital with severe injuries, where she remained until her death. She was 48 years old.
This information comes from a preliminary investigation, which was released to the public as police were continuing to look into the collision. In a release from Santa Monica Police Sgt. Richard Lewis, the department’s public information officer, it was stated that these details may be subject to change as the investigation continues.
Abrams was in town with his wife, visiting their son. Santa Monica Police officials said that he tested positive for alcohol, but his blood alcohol level was under the legal limit of 0.08 percent. However, additional charges may be pending as the department forwards manslaughter evidence to the district attorney’s office.
Desoto was a Marina del Rey resident, who worked in Venice. In her youth, she was selected by Coach Rudiger Dorman to train for Olympics, but her athletic career was cut short when she shattered her meniscus during a motor cross event. Along with being a lover of horse jumping, track, motocross, water skiing, and volcano jumping, Desoto was a certified personal trainer, a rescue diver, and a cosmetologist.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Chris Dawson at 310.458.8954 or Sgt. Jeff Wiles at 310.458.8950 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) at 310.458.8495.
If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call WeTip at 1.800.782.7463, or submit the tip online at www.wetip.com. You will remain completely anonymous and may be eligible for a reward, up to $1,000, if your information leads to an arrest and conviction.
Callers can also contact Crime Stoppers by either calling 800.222.TIPS, texting from your mobile, or by visiting their website at www.lacrimestoppers.org. Callers may remain anonymous and may be qualified to receive a $1,000 reward by Crime Stoppers.