CHP Arrests DUI Suspect in July 31 Motorcyclist’s Death Near Esparto
After a six month California Highway Patrol investigation, a Woodland man was arrested in connection with the death of a motorcyclist in rural Yolo County.
At approximately 6:30 am on the morning of July 31 last year, Manuel Perez, 60, was driving his Ford Ranger along a gravel road near County Road 15B north of Esparto. At the private road’s intersection with County Road 85 just south of CR 15B, Perez came to a stop and then turned onto CR 85. According to the CHP, Perez then swerved over CR 85’s yellow lane dividers right in front of 61 year old Denis Fred Bartz Sr. of Knights Landing as he rode his Harley-Davidson motorcycle southbound on CR 85.
Bartz had no time to avoid hitting Perez’s pickup truck. Ejected from his motorcycle, Bartz sailed over the guard rail of the bridge that spans an irrigation canal there. He landed on the southern embankment of the canal. The motorcyclist suffered “major trauma,” the CHP said, and died at the accident scene.
At the time of the collision, investigating officers found alcohol in Perez’s system. “But after talking to the [Yolo County] district attorney, the decision was made not to book him because they are not sure there is sufficient evidence for the DUI charge,” said CHP officer Bryan Konvalin six months ago.
However, on February 4, the CHP did obtain a warrant for Perez’s arrest, charging him with driving under the influence of alcohol and gross vehicular manslaughter. Perez was taken into custody on February 5 and lodged in the Yolo County Jail.
Davis Enterprise: Arrest made in fatal July crash in Capay Valley
KCRA (July 2013): No charges filed in Yolo County crash killing motorcyclist