SANTA CLARITA – A 45-year-old motorcyclist is expected to face several felony counts for his alleged role in a hit-and-run road rage confrontation last June that ended with an SUV on its roof on the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway, injuring the driver, the California Highway Patrol announced.
Andrew Flanigan was arrested around 5:40 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, and booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, reckless driving and hit-and-run, according to CHP Southern Division Assistant Chief Mark Garrett.
The confrontation and crash, part of which was recorded and went viral on social media, occurred around 5:45 a.m. June 21, 2017, on the southbound Antelope Valley (14) Freeway near Newhall Avenue. Investigators used the video to help zero in on Flanigan within a week after the crash, but did not consider him an ongoing public safety or flight risk and did not arrest him until they felt they had built a significant case, Garrett said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.
The video shows the motorcyclist pulling up to the driver’s side of a Nissan sedan in the far left lane of the freeway, then kicking a leg at the vehicle. The driver of the Nissan swerved toward the left, into the motorcyclist, who was pushed toward the center divider, but managed to maintain control of the bike.
The Nissan then swerved to the right, but the driver lost control of the vehicle and swung quickly back to the left, slamming into the center divider in front of the motorcyclist, who slowed to avoid the crash. Flames were briefly seen under the front of the Nissan, which bounced off the divider and swerved back into traffic, broadsiding a white Cadillac SUV, which flipped over and wound up on its roof.
The driver of the Nissan came to a stop on the right side of the freeway, with smoke billowing from the vehicle’s hood.
Meanwhile, the motorcyclist managed to avoid debris from the crash, including a bumper from the Nissan, and rode away.
The SUV driver suffered moderate injuries and was taken to a hospital, according to the CHP.
The video of the crash was taken by a motorist behind the involved vehicles, and the footage was posted online and subsequently received additional air time on television news broadcasts. [See video above, courtesy: Chris Traber via Storyful]
“We feel we have the person responsible for this incident,” Garrett said.
Flanigan was released from custody Wednesday after posting $110,000 bail, according to sheriff’s inmate records.