|Yu enters plea of no contest to several charges
Hit-and-run driver faces maximum 10-year sentence
The Rohnert Park driver who struck and injured a bicyclist in Santa Rosa on June 29 pleaded guilty to several charges and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years, four months in jail.
Arthur Yu, 37, will be sentenced on Nov. 27 in Sonoma County Superior Court by Judge Kenneth Gnoss. Yu pled no contest to and was convicted of felony hit-and-run causing injury, felony reckless driving causing injury, felony auto theft with a prior conviction, felony possession of a stolen vehicle and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license. Yu also admitted to having a prior strike conviction for a 2002 residential burglary.
Michael Torkler, a professional bicyclist from New Zealand, was the victim. He suffered multiple facial fractures and other injuries and was hospitalized for 12 days before returning to New Zealand.
Yu was driving a 1996 Honda Accord he’d stolen from his father when he crossed into the opposite lane on Pine Flat Road and struck Torckler. Yu’s speed was estimated at 20 mph at the time of the collision. Yu stopped briefly, and his passenger, William Frasier, got out of the Honda to check on the victim. Yu then fled the scene leaving Frasier there. Yu was arrested the following day.
“We’re grateful for Mr. Torckler’s ongoing recovery from this potentially deadly crash,” Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch said. “Sonoma County drivers must remain alert on the roadways for others, including bicyclists and pedestrians. And drivers must hear this simple message that if the worst occurs, pull over, call for help, and render assistance. We will not tolerate drivers leaving those whom they’ve injured, for dead, on the side of the road.”