Driver accused of speeding away from hit-and-run with motorcycle on front bumper
A 25-year-old man from California was arrested on charges of felony hit-and-run after video allegedly showed him speeding away with a motorcycle wrapped around his vehicle’s bumper.
George Valentin, 25, was taken into custody Saturday after he admitted to being the driver involved in a crash the day before with a motorcycle on the 91 Freeway in Corona, California, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The scene unfolded about 7 p.m. Friday when Valentin, driving a minivan, allegedly struck motorcyclist Chain Arunritthirot and failed to stop. Arunritthirot said he was suddenly hit from behind and landed some 200 feet away from the collision in the middle of the freeway, confused about what had happened.
"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.
Valentin continued on the freeway with Arunritthirot’s motorcycle still attached to his minivan before he eventually crashed into a fence and fled on foot into a drainage wash, according to CHP.
Motorists Natalie Duran and Will Ross captured cell phone video of the minivan with the motorcycle lodged in its front bumper, trailing a fiery stream of sparks as it sped along the freeway. They followed the van and called CHP.
"My first thought was 'Oh, my gosh, where is this poor motorcyclist? What happened to him?'" Duran said.
Arunritthirot was not seriously injured in the crash but complained about pain to his arms and legs. He was wearing a helmet, gloves and boots at the time of the incident. CHP estimates he was traveling about 65 miles per hour when the minivan hit him going 70 mph.
"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 says he is still in shock over the incident. He would like to meet and thank Duran and Ross for capturing the crash on camera and leading police to an arrest. He would also like to thank the man and woman who helped him off the freeway.
“My main thought is my poor bike. It’s never gonna be OK again. I can’t fix it,” Arunritthirot said.
CHP says they don’t believe alcohol or drugs to be factors in the case at this time. The incident is still under investigation.