Connor Penhall, the 21-year-old son of retired American motorcycle speedway racer Bruce Penhall, was killed after being struck by a car while working on a California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) project in Baldwin Park, Calif. on Wednesday, according to reports.
The Los Angeles Times reports that 37-year-old motorist Sakamoto Tatsuhiko drove through construction barricades and hit Penhall with his Toyota RAV4 at a speed of about 60 mph around 11:45 p.m. on the westbound 10. KTLA reports that Penhall was tossed 50 to 75 feet and causing him to die on impact.
Sakamoto was arrested and booked at the Industry Sheriff's Station on suspicion of DUI, vehicular manslaughter and driving without a license. Now, he is being held on $200,000 bail and his first court appearance is scheduled for Monday.
Penhall had been racing motorcycles since 2003 and was said to be following in his father's footsteps.
His brother, Ryan, is also a motorcycle racer.
Those on CycleNews.com expressed their condolences, particularly commenter Matt Lee, who said he was Penhall's best friend.
Connor you were my best friend since we were 7 yrs old, Lee said. I still have no words to express how I feel right now. You were not only an inspiration to everyone but an awesome friend. There isn't a better friend anybody could ask for. You may have fallen, but you will never be forgotten. I will miss you dearly. Watch over me bud. Rest In Paradise.
Ryan tweeted early on Thursday, You never know what you have until you lose it.. Don't call me, but later added, Thanks everyone for the love and support.
Motocross racers at the Glen Helen raceway in San Bernardino, Calif. paid tribute to Penhall with a parade lap, the video of which can be seen below: