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Racing suspected after pursuit ends w/ crash

August 19, 2010 12:12:18 AM PDT
A CHP police chase ended with a violent crash in the Harbor Gateway area that left the fleeing motorcyclist dead early Thursday morning. Authorities are investigating whether he was street racing."Our officer was specifically out focusing on motorcycle enforcement," said CHP Sgt. Denise Joslin. Police said the area that the officer was patrolling is a problem area for motorcycle racing.

The pursuit began when a California Highway Patrol officer had tried to pull three motorcyclists traveling at a high rate of speed in the area of 120th Street and Broadway at about 12:40 a.m. Investigators said they believe the motorcyclists may have been racing.

The officer tried to pull the three over, but two split off, so he was only able to follow one motorcyclist. The motorcyclist headed southbound on Hoover Street and went through the intersection at El Segundo Boulevard, crashing into a minivan that was traveling westbound on El Segundo Boulevard.

Authorities said the motorcyclist, identified only as a man in his 30s, was thrown about 50 feet.

The suspect was rushed to a local hospital, where he was declared dead. The driver of the minivan was also transported to a hospital for minor injuries.

The chase was brief but reached speeds of 80 to 90 mph on residential streets. Just before the accident, the CHP had backed off due to the dangerous speeds

Authorities said the wide-open stretch of Broadway is a prime draw for speeding motorcyclists, and residents said you can hear them all hours of the night.

"They just keep going up and down the street, you know, loud exhaust pipes and all that type of stuff, disturbing the neighbors pretty much, that's what they do," said Aaron Magana of Athens said.

Investigators said they don't have any information on the other two motorcyclists involved to track them down, but they are hoping that once the victim is identified, it will point them in the right direction.


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