Update: Authorities Seeking Mini Cooper Driver in Felony-Hit-and-Run in Death of Motorcyclist on 405 Freeway

The crash occurred at about 4:35 p.m. Tuesday near Mar Vista. The California Highway Patrol say the suspect is a 'Middle Eastern man in his 40s, with a short, closely cropped beard.'

The California Highway Patrol on Wednesday released a description of a driver sought for fleeing the scene of a multi-vehicle collision on the San Diego (405) Freeway in Mar Vista that claimed the life of a 47-year-old motorcyclist.

The crash occurred in the carpool lane of the southbound San Diego Freeway at Venice Boulevard about 4:35 p.m. Tuesday, said CHP Officer Christian Craycraft.

According to the CHP accident report, the crash was triggered when a man driving a 2005 Dodge Neon in the carpool lane swerved to the right to avoid rear-ending a Mini Cooper that had slowed ahead of him. The Dodge Neon then hit Gen Okada who was riding his motorcycle between the carpool lane and the No. 1 lane.

Okada's motorcycle subsequently slammed into the rear of the Mini Cooper and then careened into the back end of a 2002 Ford Explorer.

Okada died at the scene, said coroner's Lt. Kitty McCracken.

The carpool and No. 1 and 2 lanes were shut down for more than three hours for the investigation and cleanup, Craycraft said. No other injuries were reported.

The driver of the Mini Cooper is wanted for felony hit-and-run, according to the CHP, which described him as in his 40s, with a short, closely cropped beard and wearing black slacks and a light-colored long-sleeve shirt.

"Our suspect did initially stop and get out of his car," said CHP Officer Sam Kizito, the investigator on the case. "He made a few comments to people there at the scene, which we are not releasing at this time because they are part of our criminal investigation."

"The witnesses told us he stood there for a few minutes, looked at the damage from the accident, then got back in his car without giving anyone his information and fled the scene heading south on the 405."

His black Mini Cooper was new, with paper dealer plates, and sustained right rear end damage in the accident, according to Kizito.

"Unfortunately, none of the witnesses could recall the name on the dealer plates or any of the numbers on the paper plate," Kizito said.

Kizito asked anyone with information on the identity or whereabouts of the suspect to call him at the CHP's West Los Angeles office at (310) 642-3939. All tips can be made anonymously.

James Mendoza October 18, 2012 at 04:33 PM
This is event is weird and horrible. The driver of the mini cooper, while maybe not 100% at fault, still needs to give his account to the police. By fleeing it makes him look suspicious, as though he instigated the accident. He's labeled a felon now, that's what he gets for being a coward.
Sandra Montez October 22, 2012 at 04:02 PM
We can only hope the authorities are doing everything in their power to find this person. How hard in this day and age can it be to locate a new mini Cooper.
Sam Anegawa October 31, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Our friend, Gen, was on his way home from work that day. He passed away leaving behind his mother, two younger sisters, a lovely wife, and an unborn daughter who is due to be born this weekend. The babyshower that had been planned for the couple turned into a funeral for him which was held in down town LA last Wednesday, 1 day after his family was able to see him for the first time since the accident. Any information pertaining to this accident will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


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