SoCal freeway worker Connor Penhall was struck and killed Wednesday night by a drunken driver who drove his sport utility vehicle through highway construction barricades, according to the California Highway Patrol. Investigators arrested 37-year-old Tatsuhiko Sakamoto for driving through barricades and striking Penhall before slamming into construction equipment.
CHP Officer Kerri Rivas said the 21-year-old Corona native was part of a contract construction crew when he was hit by the Toyota Rav4 at 11:45 p.m. Westbound lanes of Interstate 10 in Baldwin Park, just east of downtown Los Angeles, were shut down more than seven hours. The freeway reopened at 6:15 a.m. Thursday.
The CHP said Sakamoto failed a sobriety test after being arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, DUI and driving without a license, the L.A. Times wrote. Penhall was the son of Hall of Fame motorcycle racer and television star Bruce Penhall, KTLA reports.
Penhall raced bikes, like his father, competing with his brother in off-road races:
After the accident, his brother, Ryan Penhall, tweeted:
You never know what you have until you lose it.. Don't call me— Ryan Penhall ? (@ryanpenhall) April 5, 2012