By Matthias Gafni, Gary Peterson and Alan LopezA paratransit bus driver got into an altercation with a Hells Angel motorcyclist Saturday afternoon while driving on a San Leandro freeway when he intentionally rammed the biker, dragging him about one mile and killing him, a CHP spokesman said.
Contra Costa Times
Contra Costa Times
The biker, who has not been identified, was traveling eastbound on Interstate 580 near 150th Avenue with a small group of Hells Angels colleagues shortly before 4 p.m. when the incident began, said CHP Sgt. Trent Cross. After being hit, the motorcyclist and his bike were dragged for about a mile, said San Leandro police Lt. Greg Lemmon. Eventually, the biker was released from under the bus, but the driver kept dragging the motorcycle which was wedged underneath the front grill.
The Hells Angel biker was flown to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley where he was pronounced dead, Lemmon said.
The bus driver has been arrested, Lemmon said at a command center at Kindred Hospital near the crash site.
Police are interviewing four witnesses who saw the ramming, he said.
"The preliminary information they are providing was that it wasn't an accident, it was an intentional ramming," Lemmon said.
All eastbound lanes remain closed from Grand Avenue to 150th Avenue so police can conduct a homicide investigation over a large swath of freeway, Cross said. The lanes could remain closed until 10 or 11 p.m., he said, and have caused significant traffic delays in the area.
An East Bay Paratransit bus was seen parked on the shoulder of the freeway near the accident scene. An East Bay Paratransit manager referred calls to First Transit, a contract agency that operated that bus. The First Transit spokesman did not return calls for comment.
Meanwhile in Stockton, San Jose police served a search warrant for a wanted Hells Angels member accused of shooting a fellow member at the funeral of the motorcycle club's San Jose chapter president, according to Sacramento television stations. A stand-off continues in the Stockton neighborhood for 38-year-old Steven Ruiz after police approached the house at about 1 p.m.
Ruiz killed Steve Tausan, a 52-year-old Hells Angels enforcer at the Oct. 15 packed funeral for Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, who was killed outside a Nevada casino last month, police said.