On March 29, 2019, at approximately 1:30 pm, the Merced California highway patrol communication center received a report of a solo vehicle collision with an ambulance responding on State Route Highway 140 in the area of Howard Road.
Once CHP arrived on the scene, officers determined that a Harley Davidson (HD) motorcycle being driven by a 37-year-old male out of Atwater was traveling eastbound on State Route 140, east of Howard Avenue, at approximately 65-70 miles per hour according to witness statements.
For unknown reasons, the driver of the HD allowed his motorcycle to travel to the right shoulder of State Route 140 where it struck a power pole.
After striking the power pole, the female passenger Bessie Mitchell, 38-year-old out of Atwater was ejected from the motorcycle.
After the collision, the HD became fully engulfed in flames.
The driver of the HD was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger was transported via air ambulance to Doctors Hospital in Modesto.
State Route 140 was closed at the collision scene due to the damage to the power pole and vehicle recovery, the road was closed for approximately two hours.
It is unknown if drugs or alcohol are a factor in the collision at this time.