Sunday, November 14, 2010
Cops hunt driver who triggered horrific motorcycle pileup and then fled; one driver arrested for DUI
Police in California are looking for the driver of a car that triggered a horrific accident Saturday when he attempted to pass a group of motorcycles and allegedly caused an oncoming car to plow into the pack, killing five people, including four the riders.
The crash happened before 1 p.m. Saturday on a remote, two lane desert highway in Ocotillo, Calif., about 80 miles east of San Diego and just a few miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.
The driver of the car, which police said was a gold Honda Accord, tried to pass the pack of about a dozen motorcycles, some carrying two people, and caused an oncoming white Dodge Avenger to lose control and slam into the several of the riders.
Four motorcyclists and the passenger riding in the Dodge Avenger were killed. Two of the motorcyclists killed were husband and wife and had been riding on the same bike.
The Accord did not stop and was not damaged, police said.
Two helicopters and four ambulances swarmed the scene after the accident and rushed five injured motorcyclists to the hospital. Several riders toward the back of the pack were able to avoid the crash.
The driver of the Avenger, Carlos Ramirez Bobadilla, 36, of Mexicali, Mexico, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, The Associated Press reported.
Bobadilla's breath smelled like alcohol, and the results of a blood test are pending. He also broke his hand during the accident. California Highway Patrol Officer Deeann Goudie said Bobadilla won't be held responsible for the deaths based on evidence gathered so far.
Four of the dead riders belonged to a motorcycle club called the Saddle Tramps, Goudie said.
Goudie said the club was celebrating its 10th anniversary Saturday with a ride across the desert and had met for breakfast in Lakeside, Calif., earlier that day.
Police do not have the license plate number of the Honda and said the driver was a man in a baseball cap.