Crime

Motorcyclist seriously injured in hit-and-run crash on Highway 58 near Santa Margarita

Highway 58 in San Luis Obispo County

Highway 58 is a popular, rural road east of Santa Margarita, California.
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Highway 58 is a popular, rural road east of Santa Margarita, California.

A Santa Margarita motorcyclist traveling on Highway 58 suffered major injuries on Wednesday in a hit-and-run crash involving a flatbed truck driver.

At 9:10 a.m., Laurie A. Trejo, 34, was riding a 2006 Harley Davidson motorcycle 55 to 60 mph westbound on Highway 58 just west of West Pozo Road, according to a news release from the Templeton CHP office.

Bill W. Keulen Jr., 35, of Paso Robles was driving a 2004 Dodge dually flatbed truck about 40 mph eastbound past the Santa Margarita Cemetery.

Keulen was traveling behind two big rig dump trucks, and he accelerated into the westbound lane to pass the other vehicles as they got closer to the curve in the roadway.

As Keulen accelerated, Trejo’s motorcycle was westbound in the curve, directly in the truck’s path. Keulen noticed Trejo ahead of him as he was alongside the lead dump truck.

Keulen tried to move back into the eastbound lane, but his truck didn’t have enough clearance. The rear of Keulen’s truck hit the left side of the motorcycle, sending it out-of-control onto the dirt shoulder of the north roadway edge.

The motorcycle rolled and ejected Trejo, causing her to suffer major injuries. Keulen continued driving eastbound on Highway 58 without returning to the scene.

A follow-up investigation led CHP officers to Keulen’s home in Paso Robles, where he was detained and questioned.

Keulen was not arrested, but the CHP could recommend the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office file felony hit-and-run charges against him, said Officer Pat Seebart, a Templeton CHP spokesman.

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Lindsey Holden writes about housing and everything in between for The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. She also covers communities in northern San Luis Obispo County. Lindsey became a staff writer in 2016 after working for the Rockford Register Star in Illinois. She’s a native Californian raised in the Midwest and is a proud graduate of two Chicago schools: DePaul University and Northwestern University.
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