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Motorcyclist dies after slamming into roundabout in Ripon at 100 mph
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Ripon First Sergeant Steve Merchant inspects a Honda CBR sports bike that exploded into pieces after striking a roundabout at North Ripon Road and River Road about 8 p.m. Sunday. - photo by GLENN KAHL

RIPON — A motorcyclist lost his life Sunday at about 8 p.m. when he struck the concrete curbing of a roundabout at the intersection of North Ripon and River roads traveling at a high rate of speed.

Ripon Police estimated the 34-year-old rider was speeding in excess of 100 miles per hour on his Honda CBR sports bike when he entered the intersection and collided with a sign pole in the landscaped roundabout. He flipped end over end six to eight times through the air, according to a witness who had stopped at a stop sign as she was traveling northbound on North Ripon Road.

Ripon First Sergeant Steve Merchant quoted the woman as saying she ran to the rider’s aid, but quickly realized there was nothing she could do to help him.

The man was thrown about 150 feet and lay in the middle of the River Road when first responders arrived.  There had been an earlier report of a man on a motorcycle speeding near McHenry Park in Escalon headed toward Ripon.

Ripon Police and the Ripon Fire Department blocked off both roadways that remain closed for at least two hours to through traffic with Sheriff’s deputy coroners responding to the scene. 

Sgt. Merchant said the bike basically exploded into pieces after hitting the sign pole, uprooting its concrete base and separating the sign from its bolts. A debris field was scarred from the point of impact to where the motorcycle ended up on the lawn of the parkway.

Officers could not release the name of the victim until they could confirm family members have been notified.