Monday afternoon police identified 51-year-old George Lopez Jr. of Stockton, California as the man killed by an East Bay mini-bus driver named Eddie Hall (above) Saturday afternoon. According to numerous accounts, Lopez was a member of the Hells Angels California Nomads charter.
Lopez was riding with a half dozen other club members when he was killed. The pack was on its way to a party at the Oakland clubhouse.
According to witnesses, Hall’s mini-bus was empty when he pulled up next to the pack near the Grand Avenue exit near Interstate 580 in San Leandro. Hall’s shift was over and he was on his way to a bus parking lot in Oakland.
According to all accounts, Hall swerved his mini-bus into the same lane with the bikes without warning or provocation. The other riders were able to escape without serious injury. Lopez was not. Lopez fell in front of the bus. Hall ran over him and for more than 200 yards Lopez was trapped between the freeway and the bus. Several other motorcycles were damaged by the impact of the collision and by flying debris.
Lopez’ motorcycle remained wedged under the front of the mini-bus after he was expelled onto the freeway. Hall continued driving with the bike under his vehicle for another mile until the motorcycle caught fire. He then pulled over, abandoned the bus and the burning bike, hopped a fence and ran into a neighborhood in San Leandro where he was captured by Alameda County Sheriffs.
The freeway was closed and Lopez was flown by helicopter to the Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley where he was pronounced dead. The freeway remained closed for ten hours while police combed through the mile long crime scene.
A San Leandro police spokesman named Greg Lemmon told Alan Lopez of the Contra Costa Times yesterday, “There is no motive established. We don’t know for sure why the driver chose to take the action that he did. It is extremely odd. In my 25 years, I have never seen anything like this.”
Lemon also told the Times that the Angels did not provoke the attack. “There is nothing in our investigation that would lead us to believe that the Hells Angels were chasing this suspect,” Lemmon said.
Hall worked for a Cincinnati company called First Transit. First Transit subcontracted drivers and buses to East Bay Paratransit. East Bay Paratransit provides public transportation for handicapped citizens who do not have access to other forms of public transportation.
A First Transit spokeswoman named Maureen Richmond said Sunday that Hall “joined the First Transit team in good standing and was a good driver for us.”
Hall is locked up in the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. He will make his initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon in the Hayward Hall of Justice. He is expected to be charged with suspicion of homicide and felony hit-and-run.