RIVERSIDE (CNS) – A driver accused of plowing into and seriously injuring a motorcyclist on the 91 freeway in Corona, then continuing to drive with the motorcycle attached to his minivan before finally crashing, was charged today with hit-and-run resulting in great bodily injury.
George Cesar Valentin, 25, of Corona was arrested Friday night after allegedly hitting the victim, identified only as a 37-year-old Jurupa Valley man, just west of Main Street on the eastbound 91.
Along with the felony count, Valentin is charged with driving without a license, a misdemeanor. He’s being held in lieu of $75,000 bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside and is slated to make his initial court appearance at the Riverside Hall of Justice on Thursday.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the victim was riding his 2015 Honda CBR in the slow lane on the eastbound 91, near Main Street, when the defendant approached from behind in his 2001 Honda Odyssey going about 70 mph around 8 p.m. Friday.
CHP Officer Juan Quintero alleged that Valentin ran his minivan into the rear of the bike, flinging the rider onto the pavement, and then kept going with the motorcycle hanging on the front fender.
The victim was able to clamber out of freeway lanes and make it onto the shoulder of the freeway, where witnesses stopped to render assistance and call 911, according to Quintero.
The motorcyclist was taken to Riverside Community Hospital, where he remains in serious but stable condition, according to authorities.
Quintero alleged that Valentin exited the 91 at McKinley Street, drove south through a restaurant parking lot and then turned west onto Sampson Avenue.
“Valentin continued westbound on Sampson at a high rate of speed,” the officer said. “His vehicle finally became dislodged from the motorcycle on Sampson, just east Dupont Street. Valentin continued to flee at a high rate of speed until he collided with a chain-link fence on Sampson, at Radial Road, where he abandoned the minivan.”
Witnesses attempted to chase him down as he ran into a drainage canal, disappearing from sight, according to Quintero.
Nearly four hours later, the defendant appeared at the Corona Police Department, seeking to report his vehicle stolen, Quintero said. The CHP was notified, and officers went to question Valentin, who was taken into custody without incident.
He has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.