THOUSAND PALMS, Calif. - UPDATE: 4/8/17 9 P.M.:
The Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner's Office identified the motorcyclist allegedly hit and killed by a drugged driver on Friday morning.
Robert Prudholme, a 41-year-old from Compton, died at Desert Regional Medical Center at around 8:30 a.m. after the motorcycle he was riding was struck by a PT Cruiser on eastbound Interstate-10, east of Bob Hope Drive.
Palm Desert resident Dawn Fleck, 56, was arrested on suspicion of murder, vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence of drugs, hit and run and driving on a suspended license, according to California Highway Patrol Officer MIke Radford.
Fleck is accused of crashing into Prudholme's motorcycle, ejecting him from his bike in the slow lane. After being thrown from the bike, Prudholme was also struck by Fleck's car. According to the CHP, Fleck then fled the scene, but was arrested about 20 minutes later after officers received information from a witness, Radford said.
Fleck is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.
UPDATE: 6:19 p.m.
Bill Burt said he noticed heavy traffic on the eastbound I-10 Friday morning traveling from Indio.
"It was like bumper to bumper," Burt said. "I thought it was Coachella weekend, but it's not."
It was traffic one woman, who did not want to be identified, said she was commuting in from Yucca Valley to Thousand Palms.
"I definitely think I wasn't the only one who was a little freaked out," she said.
She said traffic was heavy, even before a deadly crash near the Bob Hope Drive exit.
And she said that wasn't the only issue.
"They just seem to be completely oblivious to everything else that was going on the freeway," she said. "It was just their little packs. They were going around me probably going 85 miles an hour, and they were weaving in and out of traffic, because they were all bunched together in groups of 15 or more."
Shortly after the crash near the Bob Hope Drive exit, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers said two other motorcycle crashes happened on eastbound I-10 near the Monroe Street exit in Indio.
Those two crashes being just hundreds of feet apart.
The crashes, residents and CHP officers said, are why both riders and drivers should share the road safely.
"The faster you go, the less reaction time you have," Sgt. Joe Zagorski with California Highway Patrol said. "When you drive erratically or do other things, such as texting on the phone, talking, doing anything else going on that can take your focus away from the road, it just increases the danger on the roadway of everyone else as well."
CHP officers also confirmed a 4th motorcycle crash on I-10 happening near Beaumont Friday morning.
Officers said no injuries were reported in that crash.
ORIGINAL STORY: 1:20 p.m.
At least three crashes involving motorcyclists led to injuries and traffic delays along Interstate 10 Friday morning. And according to the California Highway Patrol, the first collision was deadly and the driver who struck the motorcyclist was arrested for suspected DUI.
We've been told that many bikers are headed to Arizona's Bike Week; a huge motorcycle and rally taking place in Phoenix this weekend. Bike Week has been ongoing for 20 years. It's very likely that's why we're seeing so many more motorcyclists on the road Friday morning.
The deadly collision occurred just before 8 a.m., east of the Bob Hope Drive interchange. The coroner's office will release the identity of the rider as soon as family is notified. KESQ and CBS Local 2 is still waiting for details about the person arrested and the specifics of the crash.
CHP issued a SIG alert Friday morning for eastbound Interstate 10 traffic after the collision. The motorcyclist was taken to the hospital but later died.
Three eastbound traffic lanes were shutdown, and traffic was backing up three miles to Date Palm Drive. Only the number 4 slow lane was open to vehicles.
Motorists were urged to avoid eastbound travel on Interstate-10 through Thousand Palms until crews cleared the scene. This was the first of two collisions involving motorcycles Friday morning.
A third motorcycle crash occurred very close to the second crash on Monroe Street. There were injuries reported in that collision as well, but we're still waiting to hear back from police on the extent of injuries.
Stay with KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 News for breaking news updates.
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