Thankfully, the rider seems mostly okay in the aftermath.
One Californian is facing felony charges and another is lucky to be alive after a bizarre incident between a minivan and a motorcycle. According to a California Highway Patrol press release, George Valentin was driving a Honda Odyssey along SR-91 when he allegedly ran into a Honda CBR600 piloted by Chain Arunritthirot. The impact threw Arunritthirot from his motorcycle, and Valentin fled the scene with the bike wedged underneath the minivan. In video of the incident, you can clearly see the van entangled with the motorcycle, rolling through traffic and leaving a shower of sparks as the driver exits the highway.
The driver crashed the minivan shortly afterwards, and continued to flee on foot. Although Valentin evaded police in the aftermath of the crash, the California Highway Patrol arrested and charged him with a felony hit and run when he tried to report the minivan as stolen. At that point, the CHP says Valentin admitted to driving the van during the crash.
Arunritthirot, thankfully, seems to be largely okay. He told WMBF News that he has pain in his arms and legs, but considering the speed and violence of the crash, he’s lucky to be alive and in one piece. CHP investigators say the crash happened at 65 mph, and Arunritthirot says he flew 200 feet after the crash, landing in freeway traffic. WMBF News says he was wearing a helmet, boots, and gloves at the time of the crash.
Arunritthirot told WMBF News that he felt like he’d been targeted when the van struck his bike: "Oh, this guy did try to kill me … I feel like it was intentional, like he hunted me down." None of that has been proven in court, though. CHP’s press release says Valentin is charged under 20001(a)V.C. of California’s Vehicle Code, which lays out a maximum five-year sentence for “fleeing the scene of a crime.”