World Speedway Champion and actor Buce Penhall’s son Connor Penhall was killed Wednesday night by a suspected drunk driver in Los Angeles and on Friday the driver was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter.
Connor, 21, was working as a subcontractor for Caltrans when a Toyota RAV4 traveling 60 mph struck him, tossing him 50 to 75 feet.
The driver, Sakamoto Tatsuhiko, initially tried to flee but officers arrested him on the scene on suspicion of DUI and took him into custody.
He was also charged with DUI causing injury, driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol causing inuury and a special allegation of causing great bodily injury according to the District Attorney’s office.
Connor and his brother Ryan both race motorcycles. Ryan Tweeted a heartbreaking message early Thursday morning about his brother. “You never know what you have till you lose it.. Don’t call me.”
His motorcycle victories included a 3rd place in the Baja race in 2009 but he had been working for a concrete cutting company called Cut N Core.
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Connor’s father Bruce Penhall identified his son at the scene according to reports. He won the World Speedway Championships in 1981 and 1982 and starred as Officer Bruce Nelson in the final season of the hit television show CHiPs.
Sakamoto is being held on $200,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in state prison
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