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Man on stolen motorcycle injured in Sonora crash

POSTED February 26, 2013 5:29 p.m.

A Turlock man was hospitalized after crashing a stolen motorcycle while trying to flee a California Highway Patrol officer in Sonora.

Joshua Lankford, 26, was airlifted to Memorial Medical Center Saturday night after the 2007 Honda motorcycle he was driving crashed into the back of a car on Main Street in Sonora.

Lankford was driving the motorcycle on Highway 49 when a CHP officer noticed he was traveling at an excessive speed and initiated a traffic stop. Lankford allegedly ignored the officer and sped off.

Lankford continued to flee from the officer for approximately 11 miles before turning right onto Main Street at an estimated speed of 60 mph. In front of him on Main Street was a 2005 Ford turning into a convenience store parking lot.

Because of Lankford’s speed, he was unable to avoid a collision with the Ford, the CHP reported.

The impact sent Lankford crashing into the pavement. Immediately after the wreck he tried to sit up, but fell back onto the road due to the severity of his injuries, according to the CHP. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

The license plate on the motorcycle was run through the CHP’s database and came back as a stolen vehicle.

Lankford was arrested for auto theft, the CHP reported.

The driver of the Ford, 20-year-old Joshua Puccio of Sonora was not injured in the collision.

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