Coroner’s officials have publicly identified the man who was run over and killed by a truck that fled the scene, according to the CHP.
TEMECULA, CA — Sources from Temecula Patch tell us that a motorcyclist who suffered fatal injuries after falling off of his bike on the freeway and then getting hit by a pickup truck has been identified by the Riverside County coroner’s office. Officials say 44-year-old Roger Whitaker died at the scene on the I-15, just north of Winchester Road on Wednesday. Witaker was a resident of Aguanga.
He was survived by his wife and three children and Thursday would have been his 45th birthday, according to a GoFundMe page created by a family friend.
“Anything will help this family as this wasn’t how they were suppose to be spending his bday; planning a funeral,” Dannette Pollard wrote Thursday. “The monies will help with the arrangements, helping now a single mom of 3 and just by taking some of the burden on $ off the table even if it’s just for a few.”
According to the California Highway Patrol, Witaker was headed northbound on the freeway in the number 4 lane when he tried to get into the third lane. Meanwhile, a 17-year-old Temecula boy driving a 2014 Toyota Prius was directly in front of him and was also attempting to shift lanes at the same time. In front of both of them, a Temecula woman was driving a 2017 Honda Accord.
“As the three vehicles proceeded, [the Prius] began to change lanes to the left into the number 3 lane,” a CHP report states.
“Simultaneously, [the motorcycle] which was traveling at a great rate of speed than [the Prius], also began to change lanes to the left into the number 3 lane where it struck the left rear of [the Prius].”
Witaker didn’t have time to brake for the slower-moving vehicle and clipped the left rear bumper, causing the rider to lose control and tumble off of his bike — landing directly in the path of the pickup that ran over him. The driver continued going northbound, CHP Officer Harvey Ray said.
“The impact caused [the motorcycle] to lose control and veer to the right ejecting the rider between the number 3 and number 4 lanes where he was struck by an unidentified pickup truck which continued without stopping,” the CHP report states.
The CHP closed three of four lanes at the location until 10 a.m. for emergency responders.
The agency is still looking for whomever was behind the wheel of the truck. Anyone with information about the crash or the pickup was asked to contact the CHP’s Temecula office at (951) 506-2000.