Santa Rosa man identified as motorcyclist killed in crash

A Santa Rosa man was identified as the motorcyclist who died early Sunday after crashing into a telephone pole following a pursuit involving law enforcement officials.

Chas Nicolas, 40, died at Petaluma Hill Road and Old Petaluma Hill Road in Santa Rosa, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

The Santa Rosa Police Department is investigating the crash.

California Highway Patrol officers began chasing Nicolas around 3:10 a.m. Sunday on Highway 101.

The CHP advised police that Nicolas was going at least 90 mph on a 2007 Yamaha motorcycle, Santa Rosa police Sgt. Chris Mahurin said.

The motorcyclist exited the freeway at Baker Avenue and CHP officers tried to pull him over at Flower Avenue but he kept moving, police said.

High speeds forced officers to end the pursuit near Petaluma Hill Road and Yolanda Avenue, according to the Police Department.

At 3:15 a.m., dispatchers got a 911 call that the southbound motorcyclist had crashed into the telephone pole.

Police say Nicolas, who appeared to be wearing a helmet, was thrown 200 feet from the motorcycle.

CHP officers, along with responding fire and medical personnel, performed medical treatment before Nicolas was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Police Department.

Investigators are trying to determine exactly why Nicolas refused to pull over and toxicology reports are pending, Mahurin said.

The crash happened at an area where the road curves east and Mahurin added officials also will look into whether geography played a role.

Police want anyone with information on the crash to contact Accident Investigator Mike Mieger at 707-543-3636 or

You can reach Staff Writer Colin Atagi at On Twitter @colin_atagi

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