|RP men on hit-and-run binge, con't
Bicyclist remains in hospital after hit by 36-year-old RP driver
A 36-year-old Rohnert Park man was to appear in court on Tuesday to face charges stemming from a hit-and-run collision outside Healdsburg on June 29 that left a professional bicycle rider hospitalized with serious injuries.
Arthur Ben Yu was booked into Sonoma County Jail on charges of suspicion of hit-and-run, car theft, drunken driving and driving with a suspended license. He also was expected to be charged with stealing his father’s car. (Because of early deadlines, details of the hearing were unavailable when The Community Voice went to press.)
Michael Torckler, of New Zealand, suffered major facial injuries but has steadily improved since the accident. He was listed in fair condition at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital as of Tuesday morning. The accident was on Pine Flat Road.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Yu and a friend, William Frasier, 48, of Santa Rosa, were in Healdsburg to purchase beer. Yu was driving his father’s 1996 Honda Accord, which had been reported missing in Santa Rosa more than a month ago.
While on the narrow, winding road, Yu crossed over the middle of the road on a curve and collided with Torckler, who was traveling downhill, according to the CHP, which estimated Yu’s speed at about 20 mph. The impact of the collision knocked a mirror off the car.
Frasier got out of the vehicle to check on the condition of Torckler, who was unconscious. Yu, according to the CHP, told Frasier he needed to get away, turned around and fled the scene. Two motorists stopped to help, and Torckler was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital at 1:35 p.m.
Yu was arrested at his residence on Saturday, June 30, after his RP roommate alerted law enforcement officials he was home. Officers were informed Yu was locked in his room with a knife and possibly suicidal. Officers broke down the bedroom door and arrested Yu.
A medical condition in 2006 caused his license to be suspended. His criminal record, dating back to 1998, includes four felony convictions. He also was sentenced to five years and four months in prison for felony burglary and theft. Yu also has spent time in jail on charges for car theft, firearms theft and check forgery.