A motorcyclist remains in critical condition after crashing into a Toyota 4Runner early Wednesday morning in Santa Maria.
Shortly after 9 a.m., Santa Maria Police officials, along with AMR, responded to a report of a traffic collision involving a motorcycle and an SUV at Broadway and Stowell Road. Upon arrival, units found a male cyclist on the ground, several yards away from the 4Runner that had begun making a left turn into the entrance of the JCPenney parking lot.
"It appears the cyclist was traveling eastbound on Stowell and the vehicle [that was traveling westbound], made a left-hand turn in front of the cyclist," said Sgt. Duane Schneider, traffic supervisor with the Santa Maria Police Department.
As the driver made a turn into the JCPenney parking lot, the cyclist, whom authorities believe was speeding, "hit the back end of her vehicle," according to Schneider.
The motorcyclist was taken to the hospital with critical injuries. The female driver was not hospitalized.
Traffic traveling eastbound and westbound on Broadway was redirected throughout the morning as officials were on scene investigating the crash.
Santa Maria crime scene technicians also responded to the scene, taking photos of the roadways, collecting evidence and reviewing footage from the camera pods on the street poles that may have captured footage of the crash. Schneider said detectives also will check camera footage from local businesses in the area throughout the investigation.
While it is yet to be determined whether alcohol was a factor in the crash, "speed definitely has an involvement in this collision," Schneider said.
"We did a traffic safety operation yesterday, and we'll be doing another one tomorrow for bicyclists/pedestrians," Schneider said. "We want to remind the public to watch for cyclists, watch your speed and pay attention to other motorists on the road."