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Guerneville man dies of injuries in Highway 116 crash

An unlicensed driver with four prior convictions for driving without a license hit and killed a motorcyclist Friday when he pulled out of a Highway 116 mini-mart and into the path of the oncoming rider, authorities said.

The motorcyclist, Glenn Richard Vierra, 58, died of injuries sustained in the 7:09 a.m. crash outside Cotati.

The driver, Jorge Noe Valencia-Figueroa, 33, was jailed Friday on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter, a misdemeanor, and driving without a license.

Vierra may have seen the collision coming and tried to lay down his Harley-Davidson Road King before running into the Honda Accord driven by Valencia-Figueroa, the CHP said.

Vierra was run over at least once before becoming trapped between the Accord's front and back tires with the frame resting on his back, fire and law enforcement personnel said.

Valencia-Figueroa had never been licensed, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said, and was previously convicted of driving without a license in September 2009, as well as in March, August and October 2010, according to the CHP.

He voluntarily submitted to a blood test, though there were no overt signs of intoxication, Sloat said.

Authorities initially suggested he would be held on charges of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. The misdemeanor charge reflects discussions with the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office, the CHP said.

Whether and how he is formally charged could still change, authorities said.

Valencia-Figueroa was held on bail of $25,000. His first court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.


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