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January 29, 2014
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Driver in fatal crash jailed in connection with robbery

An 18-year-old man who was the driver in a fatal crash in early December on Indian Springs Road is in custody in Placer County Jail in connection with a strong-arm robbery.

William Robert Hawkyard reportedly was in a store on Crossings Drive in Rocklin at about 10:15 p.m. on Jan. 21, when he attempted to conceal a bottle of alcohol in his jacket and leave, said Rocklin Police Lt. Jamie Knox.

A store security guard attempted to detain Hawkyard, who was with another man identified as Kenna Beck, 18, of Loomis.

Hawkyard punched the guard in the face and fled, Knox said. Beck was detained in the store and charged with burglary, criminal conspiracy and possession of marijuana.

Hawkyard reportedly got in a vehicle and fled onto Interstate 80. A Rocklin Police officer saw the vehicle and initiated pursuit after Hawkyard reportedly failed to yield to emergency lights and sirens.

“The pursuit was relatively short, just a couple of miles,” Knox said, “He eventually yielded, but he was driving more than 100 mph on the freeway.”

Hawkyard was stopped after several Placer County Sheriffs deputies joined the pursuit, Knox said. He was taken into custody without further incident.

Hawkyard was booked into jail on suspicion of robbery, burglary, criminal conspiracy and evading a peace officer and is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail. He is set to appear in Placer County Superior Court today.

The investigation is not yet complete into a Dec. 3 crash that killed Hawkyard’s passenger, Dakota Smith, said California Highway Patrol Officer Greg Tassone.

Hawkyard was driving a Mazda, a soft-top sedan, and was driving “well in excess” of the 40 mph speed limit when he lost control as he entered a 35 mph curve and went off the edge of the road, striking several objects, including a utility pole, Tassone said.

The vehicle overturned onto its roof and rotated back across the roadway, causing major damage to its roof.

Smith sustained major head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Court records show that Hawkyard was cited twice in September for failing to stop at a red light and for driving at an unsafe speed — 49 mph in a 25 mph zone.

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


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The Union Updated Jan 30, 2014 12:06AM Published Jan 31, 2014 11:12PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.