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Rohnert Park man accused in bicyclist hit-run to appear in court

A 36-year-old Rohnert Park man is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday to face charges in Friday's hit-and-run collision that seriously injured professional cyclist Michael Torckler of New Zealand.

Suspected drunken driver Arthur Ben Yu also is expected to be charged with stealing his father's car, which was reported missing from Santa Rosa about a month ago, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.

Torckler suffered major facial injuries in the crash but made significant strides in his recovery over the weekend, his family said. He was in fair condition Monday at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

Before the collision, Yu picked up William Frasier, 48, of Santa Rosa at his home and they stopped in Healdsburg to buy beer, Sloat said. It was unclear where they were going when they headed up Pine Flat Road.

Yu was driving his father's 1996 Honda Accord on the winding, narrow road when, about three miles northeast of Highway 128, he crossed over the middle of the road on a curve and hit Torckler, who was going downhill on his bike, Sloat said.

"As Yu approached a blind curve . . . he began to cut the corner," Sloat said. "Instead of sticking to the right side like he should have, he cut the corner and hit the cyclist."

Authorities estimated Yu was traveling about 20 mph.

The impact knocked a mirror off the car, Sloat said. It was found at the scene.

Frasier got out of the car to check on Torckler, who suffered major facial injuries and was unconscious, officials said.

Yu "allegedly just told the passenger that he needed to get out of there, turned around and took off," Sloat said.


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