The video makes what happened to a Corona, California, man’s motorcycle look like a cool Hollywood stunt.
But to the man, Chain Arunritthirot, what took place earlier this summer on State Route 91, known as the 91 Freeway, was “scary.”
“I was just in my lane, going, thinking about which way I’m gonna go home because of traffic and then, boom! He just hit me [from behind] out of nowhere,” Arunritthirot told KABC-TV after the accident.
Police later arrested Corona resident George Valentin, 25, who was driving a minivan, in connection with the incident. With sparks flying, Valentin allegedly kept going with the motorcycle stuck to his bumper after Arunritthirot was thrown off and landed about 200 feet away, in the middle of the freeway, according to reports.
“He hit me. I was tumbling. When I finally came to a stop, I couldn’t get up. Some couple pulled over, helped me off to the side of the road,” Arunritthirot said.
The victim was able to escape the collision with little more than cuts and bruises, but his concern was for his motorcycle.
“I didn’t know where my bike went. I was looking, like, we were all asking that question: Where’s the bike at?” Arunritthirot said.
In speaking about the incident to KCAL-TV, he said he believes he was hit intentionally.
“Oh, this guy did try to kill me. Those weren’t the words. There was a lot more foul language. I feel like it was intentional, like he hunted me down,” Arunritthirot said.
Motorists Natalie Duran and Will Ross videoed the incident as they followed the minivan and called police.
“My first thought was ‘Oh, my gosh, where is this poor motorcyclist? What happened to him?’ ” Duran said.
“The best I kept trying to describe to the 911 operator was it literally looked like I witnessed something out of a movie. It was shocking. I’ve never seen anything like it before in my life,” Ross said.
Arunritthirot told KABC: “It was scary, but I’m alive. So I’m here to see my kids this Father’s Day. I made it.”
Police said the driver eventually dislodged the motorcycle from his van but crashed into a fence. Valentin was charged with felony hit and run. A disposition of his case wasn’t available this week.
Distracted motorists are especially dangerous for motorcyclists. In Ohio, 52 deaths resulted from 13,876 distracted driving-related crashes in 2018, according to @ODOT_Statewide. Many of these accidents involved motorcycles. Look Twice, Save a Life! pic.twitter.com/eKeXu8Na5N
— Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC (@1800HURTNOW) August 20, 2020
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said motorists in general play a major role in trying to avoid accidents involving motorcycles.
DHSMV is reminding motorists statewide to share the road with motorcycles & bikes in an effort to reduce crashes! pic.twitter.com/y9GMv009c0
— Pasco Sheriff (@PascoSheriff) May 3, 2017
“Safe riding practices and cooperation from all road users will help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on our nation’s highways,” the NHTSA said on its website. “But it’s especially important for drivers to understand the safety challenges faced by motorcyclists such as size and visibility, and motorcycle riding practices like downshifting and weaving to know how to anticipate and respond to them. By raising motorists’ awareness, both drivers and riders will be safer sharing the road.”
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