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.
Two passing motorists stopped to help, including a City of Santa Rosa employee and another driver who drove down the hill to call 911.
Torckler was airlifted to Memorial Hospital at 1:35 p.m. Friday.
Frasier, through a family member, declined comment Monday.
Yu was arrested Saturday after his Rohnert Park roommate alerted authorities he had returned home. The roommate told officers Yu was locked in a room with a knife and possibly suicidal, Sloat said. The officers broke down the bedroom door and arrested Yu on suspicion of hit-and-run, car theft, drunken driving and driving with a suspended license, Sloat said.
Yu's license was suspended in 2006 because of a medical condition.
He also has a criminal record that includes four felony convictions dating back to 1998.
In 2007, he was sentenced to five years and four months in prison for felony burglary and theft convictions. He's also been in jail on car and firearms theft charges as well as check forgery. Last year, he served a short jail sentence for a misdemeanor petty theft conviction.
Staff Writer Paul Payne contributed to this story.
You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 521-5220 or email@example.com.