A Cloverdale man who had been fleeing CHP officers on a reportedly stolen motorcycle died in a collision south of Sebastopol early Sunday.
The CHP identified the motorcycle driver as William Moncada, 38.
An officer spotted the motorcycle in an adjoining lane on Highway 101 in Rohnert Park shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday and ran a registration check, which revealed the bike had been reported stolen out of Santa Rosa, Officer Jon Sloat said.
Officers followed the motorcycle as it exited at Golf Course Drive. When they activated their emergency lights, the driver sped off, turning south onto Commerce Boulevard before turning west onto Highway 116 in Cotati, Sloat said. Two officers in one CHP vehicle and a sergeant in another patrol car were involved in the pursuit.
Sloat said CHP policy is to terminate pursuits if the danger of continuing poses a threat to the public or officers.
He said in this instance, traffic was very light at that hour.
“The officers did not perceive any danger to the public so they kept on going,” he said.
At the intersection with Old Gravenstein Highway South, Moncada lost control and collided with a wood and wire fence, Sloat said.
Francesca Papia of Santa Rosa said she was stopped at a stop sign near the crash scene when she spotted the motorcycle coming toward her. She said the rider drove behind her Saab and onto a patch of dirt. She swiveled around in her seat in time to see the motorcycle collide with the fence.
“I saw him crash and land on his back,” she said.
Sloat said officers administered oxygen to Moncada and performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
Papia, however, said officers first stood several feet away from Moncada for several minutes with their guns drawn, without rendering aid to the man.
She said she drove away after about three minutes.
“I assumed they were talking to him. His helmet was still on,” she said.
Moncada was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital, Sloat said.
You can reach Staff Writer Derek Moore at 521-5336 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @deadlinederek. Staff Writer Meg McConahey contributed to this report.