A motorcyclist, who was being pursued by Los Angeles Police Department officers, died after colliding with a fire hydrant, LAPD spokesman Sgt. Frank Preciado said.
The fatality occurred at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 24, on Truman Street in San Fernando.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office has not yet released the identity of the victim, pending notification of next of kin. Preciado described the victim, who was dead at the scene as “maybe a male Hispanic.”
Preciado, speaking from the accident scene, said LAPD officers initially received a 911 call at 2:05 a.m. of shots being fired in the 12100 block Sheldon Avenue in Sun Valley. An LAPD supervisor spotted a suspect, the sergeant said, describing him as “an individual, possible male, on a blue motorcycle, with a handgun placed in his waistband.”
The supervisor made eye contact with the suspect, Preciado said, who sped off “at speeds in excess of 100 mph” on the motorcycle. The supervisor began the LAPD pursuit west, heading toward the City of San Fernando, but the chase was eventually taken over by an LAPD helicopter.
When the motorcyclist reached Truman Street, he continued west at speeds “in excess of 130 mph,” Preciado said. The sergeant said the motorcyclist lost control of his vehicle near Workman Avenue and crashed into a fire hydrant, which was sheared off its mounting.
“The fire hydrant laid to rest approximately 120 feet from the initial point where it was mounted,” Preciado said. “[The victim] was laid to rest approximately 150 feet from the point of impact.”
Preciado said the motorcycle was a blue Kawasaki Ninja, and there were no skid marks at the point of impact. He said a license plate was recovered at the scene “some 50 feet from the point of impact.” In addition, LAPD investigators also recovered a driver’s license and a handgun at the scene, as well as a shell casing from Sheldon Avenue.
“We will conduct a ballistics test on the gun to determine if its the gun” that matches the casing found on Sheldon Avenue, Preciado said.
He said investigators did not know at the time the reason for the shots being fired call. “It could be anything — robbery, a domestic issue, or a person deciding just to shoot straight up in the air.”
The accident and the pursuit remain under investigation, police said.