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Speed a factor in Corrales’ death

Times Staff Writer

Diego Corrales’ lack of street motorcycle riding experience and his decision to speed on surface roads were identified Tuesday as the probable causes of the fatal crash that killed the former two-division boxing champion Monday, Las Vegas Police said.

Corrales, 29, was riding a 2007 Suzuki motorcycle about 10 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, having just left an apartment complex where he had met with friends. He was heading to his home a few minutes away, said his co-promoter, Antonio Leonard.

Police reported that at 7:22 p.m. Monday, Corrales was traveling northbound on two-lane Fort Apache Road north of Mesa Vista Avenue “at a high rate of speed,” according to a witness.

Corrales attempted to pass a northbound 1997 Honda Accord when he “saw [a] southbound Mercedes and got back into the northbound lane,” Det. William Redfairn wrote in a news release.

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Corrales, realizing he was riding too fast and too close to the Honda, slammed on his brakes, police said.

“There was a huge skid mark there,” said Leonard, who visited the crash scene Monday night.

Corrales, who was wearing a helmet, lost control of the motorcycle, striking the rear of the Honda and sending him off the motorcycle, which skidded into the oncoming Mercedes.

“The motorcycle rider suffered fatal injuries [upon impact] and was pronounced dead at the scene,” Redfairn said. “It appears speed and inexperience on the part of the rider is the cause of this collision.”

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The crash investigation continues, said police, who did not estimate how fast Corrales was speeding. Rhonda Guthrie, an official in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Transportation Safety Bureau, said toxicology results on Corrales won’t be available for “a couple weeks.”

Guthrie also said detectives in the department’s accident investigation detail found Corrales was only licensed to ride motorcycles on the street “for a year.”

Leonard scoffed at the police statement about Corrales’ “inexperience,” noting that Corrales “rode dirt bikes since he was a kid,” and owned several motorcycles that he would take on the streets.

“This [crash] was no different than a car crash where the driver was trying a pass a car,” Leonard said. “This wasn’t about inexperience. It was an accident.”

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lance.pugmire@latimes.com


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