Man dies in motorcycle wreck on Highway 37 near Sonoma

A motorcyclist died Wednesday evening after crashing down an embankment on Highway 37 south of Sonoma.

The four-vehicle wreck was reported around 7 p.m. just west of the Richard “Fresh Air” Janson Bridge over Sonoma Creek.

The man, whom authorities declined to identify until relatives are notified, was heading east on his motorcycle and slowed as he approached a traffic backup, the California Highway Patrol said.

A 38-year-old Vallejo man driving a Chevrolet Express van hit the motorcycle from behind, CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said.

The motorcycle was knocked off the road and it slid down an embankment, Barclay said.

The van then crashed into the back of a Hyundai Sonata and the Sonata hit a Dodge Ram pickup from behind, Barclay said. The van and the Sonata also slid down the embankment but did not overturn, he said.

A nearby CHP helicopter landed at the crash site and discovered the motorcyclist lying in thick brush. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Barclay said.

A 66-year-old woman, who was driving the Sonata, was taken to a hospital.

The incident remains under investigation. Nobody involved is suspected of intoxicated driving, Barclay said.

You can reach Staff Writer Matt Pera at On Twitter @Matt__Pera.

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