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Highway worker reported to be son of racer Bruce Penhall killed

April 5, 2012 |  7:22 am

Connor McDermott Penhall

A Caltrans contract worker reported to be the son of motorcycle racer Bruce Penhall was killed late Wednesday when he was struck by a drunk driver on a freeway in Baldwin Park, police said.

Connor McDermott Penhall, 21, of Corona was part of a contract crew working for Caltrans on the westbound 10 Freeway at about 11:45 p.m. when he was struck by a Toyota Rav4 that drove through the construction barricades, California Highway Patrol Officer Kerri Rivas said.

KTLA-TV reported that Penhall was the son of Bruce Penhall, the former motorcycle racing champion and TV and film star.

Investigators believe the driver, Tatsuhiko Sakamoto, 37, of Arcadia, was under the influence of alcohol. He was arrested on charges of vehicular manslaughter, DUI and driving without a license.

Westbound lanes of the 10 Freeway were closed through the night but reopened at about 6:15 a.m., Rivas said.

Bruce Penhall retired from racing after he won his second world championship in 1982 in front of his home crowd at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. He then joined the cast of the television series "CHiPs."


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Photo: Connor Penhall, 21, inset, and the scene of Wednesday night's accident. Credit: KTLA