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Friday, March 22 , 2019, 5:55 am | Fair 44º


Motorcyclist Killed in High-Speed Crash on Highway 166 East of Santa Maria

A 30-year-old motorcyclist from Seaside was killed Sunday night in a high-speed wreck on Highway 166 east of Santa Maria.

The incident occurred at about 6:20 p.m. on Highway 166 at Suey Creek Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A westbound CHP officer spotted the eastbound motorcycle traveling "at an extreme high rate of speed," and turned around to try to find him, CHP Sgt. John Johnson said.

A passing motorist pointed out a crash site near the intersection with Suey Creek Road. 

"It looks like the motorcyclist attempted to the make the turn there at high speed, straightened out the corner, couldn't make it, laid the motorcycle down, went over the side, tumbled down the hill, and as a result of the speed and impact, sustained fatal injuries at the scene," Johnson said. 

The motorcyclist reportedly was traveling more than 100 mph before the crash, Johnson said.

"It was just way too much speed to try to negotiate that turn," Johnson added. 

On Monday afternoon, the CHP identified the man as Nicholas J. Ono, 30. The CHP originally said the motorcycle rider was 31.

Cal Fire crews from the Nipomo station responded to the incident along with a crew from the Santa Maria Fire Department, a Cal Fire spokeswoman said.

Personnel from Cal Fire assisted in bringing the man's body and motorcycle up to the roadway, reportedly 100 to 150 feet down. 

The rider was wearing a helmet and other safety gear at time of the crash. 

"The unfortunate thing is there's a certain speed you go where none of that matters anymore," Johnson said. "He was just going way, way, way too fast."

It's too soon to say whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash, with investigators awaiting the results of toxicology tests conducted as part of the autopsy.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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