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June 9, 2014
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CHP seeks public’s help in finding hit-and-run driver

The California Highway Patrol is asking for the public’s help in finding the driver of a truck that hit a motorcyclist Sunday afternoon on Highway 49 and fled the scene.

The male driver of the white Ford Ranger pickup was driving on Rooster Hill Road at about 2:40 p.m. and pulled out onto Highway 49, north of the South Fork of the Yuba River, said CHP spokesman Greg Tassone.

The man pulled out directly ahead of a line of vehicles traveling northbound on the highway, possibly trying to make a U-turn, Tassone said.

The first two vehicles swerved into the oncoming lane to avoid a collision, but a motorcycle behind them was unable to avoid a collision and struck the pickup truck nearly head-on.

The rider, identified as Steven Kohlbaker, 64, of Nevada City, was ejected over the hood of the pickup and onto the ground, where he rolled several times before coming to rest, Tassone said. He reportedly sustained major injuries to the arms and torso.

North San Juan Fire Department EMTs, together with Cal Fire engine 2360, provided patient care at the scene, said North San Juan Fire spokesman Christoffer Montelius.

An air ambulance was ordered and a Sierra Nevada ambulance transported Kohlbaker to North San Juan station 3. Kohlbaker was then flown by air ambulance helicopter to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where he was listed in serious condition.

The driver of the Ford Ranger fled the scene southbound on Highway 49 toward Nevada City, Tassone said.

The witnesses remained at the scene and provided a solid description of the vehicle and driver, but the truck was not located despite an area search.

The truck was described as a Ford Ranger-style pickup, white in color, possibly with a black “bra” over the front. The truck is a late model, late 1980s to early 1990s, with collision damage to the left front of the vehicle and with broken light housings. The man driving was described as white, approximately 35 years old, with dark hair.

Anyone with information is asked to immediately contact the Grass Valley office of the CHP at 530-477-4900.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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The Union Updated Jun 9, 2014 11:30PM Published Jun 10, 2014 11:34AM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.