On May 13, 2021, at approximately 0255 hours, Michael Lee Confer, was driving a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix, northbound on US-101, south of Main Street, on the elevated Willits Bypass, at an unknown rate of speed. A male, was riding a 2007 BMW motorcycle, southbound on US-101, approaching the Pontiac, at approximately 55 mph. For reasons still under investigation, Confer allowed his Pontiac to travel over the double yellow painted lines, which separated the northbound and southbound lanes, directly into the path of the motorcycle. A head on collision occurred subsequently ejecting the male rider and his motorcycle over the side of the elevated bypass, where they came to rest below. The force of impact caused Confer’s Pontaic to ignite and catch fire. US-101 was closed for approximately 2 hours for emergency services and scene investigation.
The rider of the BMW motorcycle succumbed to his injuries at the scene. His name is being withheld pending notification to next of kin by the Mendocino County Coroner’s Office.
Michael Confer was evaluated and placed under arrest for suspicion of driving while under the influence of a controlled substance. Confer was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.
This incident remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol, Garberville Area.
(press release from CHP)