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Motorcyclist Killed in Hit-and-Run Crash on 101 in Camarillo

August 29, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

A motorcyclist died early Thursday after being struck by a hit-and-run motorist on the Ventura Freeway in Camarillo, authorities said.

Herman Fred Bolte IV, 24, of Orange County was pronounced dead at Pleasant Valley Hospital after the 6:15 a.m. accident near Santa Rosa Road, said California Highway Patrol spokesman Steve Reid. No one else was injured in the accident.

Bolte, a Navy reservist called up for active duty, worked at the naval base at Point Mugu.

His driver's license listed his residence as Huntington Beach, but his Harley-Davidson was registered in Fullerton, and a family acquaintance told authorities that Bolte had been living with a friend in Fullerton.

A motorist who witnessed the accident pursued the hit-and-run driver but could not keep up. The suspect was driving a red Ford Taurus with two male passengers, all believed to be in their 20s, Reid said.

"There is no doubt in our minds the driver knew he was involved in an accident," Reid said. "You are required by law to stop at an accident scene. This driver chose not to do that."

The witness was able to get a license plate number of the suspect's vehicle, which was tracked to the city of Santa Ana. Reid said the CHP was working with Orange County authorities on the investigation.

The driver faces possible felony charges of hit-and-run and manslaughter, he said.

The accident occurred on the northbound 101 Freeway when the driver of the Taurus abruptly switched lanes and hit Bolte, causing his motorcycle to swerve from side to side before overturning, authorities said.

CHP investigators kept one lane of the freeway closed for about four hours while collecting evidence, causing substantial slowing throughout much of the morning.

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