Van Driver Accused in Hit-and-Run of Motorcycle

A motorcycle accident resulted in death of a motorcycle rider at four o'clock in the afternoon last Sunday, at the on-ramp to Grand Avenue off Interstate 580. The motorcycle collided with a transit van, which dragged the victim's body along the freeway for over a mile to the east shoulder of the 150th Avenue on-ramp.

Police are accusing a 31-year-old Oakland male in the hit and run death of the motorcycle rider. The suspect worked for a local transit subcontractor, transporting people whose disabilities precluded their access to public transit. The suspect was driving toward his next stop at a High Street bus lot in Oakland as the incident happened. The van carried no passengers at the time of the incident.

Initial reports from California Highway Patrol officers claimed the incident was an intentional ramming, but a police lieutenant says that the investigation is still ongoing and they have not yet determined the exact sequence of events and underlying factors that may have been involved in this fatal accident.

The victim was air-lifted to Castro Valley's Eden Medical Center and pronounced deceased. The victim's age and identity have not yet been released. The suspect has been charged with felony hit-and-run and homicide.

Investigators are interviewing the suspect, the witnesses, and analyzing the evidence of the scene. According to a San Leandro police lieutenant, collecting physical evidence was challenging. The debris field stretched for over a mile.

After closing eastbound Interstate 580 shortly after 4 p.m., traffic backed up significantly. I-580 reopened prior to 2:30 a.m., about ten and a half hours after the incident.

Source: San Jose Mercury News "Accused hit and run driver had clean work record, official says," Alan Lopez, Oct. 23, 2011

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