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LOCAL : Racing Simi Cyclist Hits Fence, Dies

<i> From Times staff and wire service reports</i>

A Simi Valley man who raced his motorcycle down a dead-end street at speeds up to 100 m.p.h. died after he crashed into a steel fence, police said today.

The accident occurred Wednesday afternoon at Sequoia Avenue and Fitzgerald Road in Simi Valley. Joseph Donato, 19, and a friend, James Kelly, 23, of Van Nuys, sped their motorcycles south on Sequoia for about one-fourth of a mile, Police Lt. Neal Rein said. They were unable to stop at the fence blocking the end of the road, he said.

Donato suffered major head injuries. He was taken to Simi Valley Adventist Hospital, where he died.

Kelly, who was traveling at a slower speed when he struck the fence, escaped injury, Rein said.

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Neither man was wearing a helmet. “Whether or not it would have made a difference, no one knows,” Rein said. “But it sure wouldn’t have hurt.”


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