One man died Monday night after crashing his motorcycle into a bus during a high-speed chase with an Atwater police officer, the California Highway Patrol confirmed.
The motorcycle rider, whose name was not immediately available, was pronounced dead at the scene, in the intersection of Clover Avenue and Buhach Road in Atwater.
Sgt. Gerardo Serrato said the motorcyclist was spotted at 8:18 p.m. near Juniper Avenue and Buhach Road “doing wheelies.”
“The Atwater officer tried to make an enforcement stop, but the subject rode off southbound on Buhach,” Serrato said.
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Police chased the rider for less than a full minute before the crash, which was reported at 8:19 p.m., the CHP said.
The motorcyclist struck a curb on the west side of the roadway and careened into the intersection, the CHP said. The motorcycle, a 1987 Harley Davidson, struck an off-duty Merced Transit Authority bus that was turning left from Clover Avenue onto Buhach, the CHP said.
The bus driver was alone in the bus and not injured.
Southbound traffic was shut down on Buhach Road for more than one hour while more than a dozen officers investigated and cleaned up the scene.
A group of people who identified themselves as friends of the victim declined to comment.