DUI Suspect Faces Arraignment in Baldwin Park Crash That Killed Road Worker

Connor Penhall was killed Wednesday when he was struck by a driver in a work zone

An Arcadia man accused of striking a road worker -- a son of actor and motorcycle racing champion Bruce Penhall -- after allegedly driving around cones and CHP vehicles to enter the closed stretch of the 10 Freeway in Baldwin Park is scheduled for arraignment Monday on charges that include gross vehicular manslaughter  while intoxicated.

Tatsuhiko Sakamoto, 37, of Arcadia also might enter a plea to the charges. He remains  jailed on $200,000 bail.

Sakamoto is accused of driving a Toyota Rav4 through traffic cones on  the westbound freeway at Francisquito Avenue at about 11:45 p.m. Wednesday,  hitting 21-year-old Connor Penhall, of Corona. Penhall, who was operating a  concrete saw for a Caltrans subcontractor, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Penhall's father portrayed Officer Bruce Nelson in the final season of  the "CHiPs'' television series. He was also a champion motorcycle racer, a  sport in which Connor also competed.

Sakamoto faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted, according to the  District Attorney's Office. 

The freeway was closed at about 11 p.m. Wednesday for scheduled construction work and  the suspect drove his Toyota Rav4 into a coned-off area. The road is regularly closed for work from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.

"Everything was closed off with signs and cones, and he still came  through that,'' said CHP Officer Edmund Zorrilla.

Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: iPhone/iPad App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts

Copyright CNS - City News Service
Contact Us