Witnesses stop motorcyclist after teen killed

Witnesses stopped a speeding, unlicensed motorcyclist who struck and killed a 17-year-old girl from fleeing the scene near Northridge Mall in Salinas Tuesday morning, police said.

Anthony Bennett, 29, has been arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run resulting in injury or death, driving without a license and driving recklessly causing injury or death, police Sgt. Gerry Ross said.

The girl was in the crosswalk ahead of her teenage cousin on North Main Street at Harden Parkway around 10:45 a.m. when the boy tried to pull her away from an oncoming motorcyclist, Ross said.

Bennett allegedly ran a red light at high speeds and struck the girl, who was transported to a hospital where she was pronounced dead, Ross said.

The 29-year-old man landed on the roadway and attempted to flee the scene, but was held down by witnesses before officers arrived, according to Ross:

“It was pretty horrific scene for everybody involved.”

Bennett was driving a Suzuki GSX-R600 that came to rest several feet away from where the collision occurred, Ross said.

The suspect was taken to a hospital for moderate injuries including bruises and back pain that weren’t considered life-threatening, Ross said.

Some witnesses believed Bennett was traveling at 90 mph before he hit the girl at the busy intersection surrounded by shopping centers, the sergeant said.

Bennett moved to Salinas earlier this year and never obtained a California driver’s license, Ross said.

The suspect previously resided in Oregon where he had a driver’s license that was suspended, according to the sergeant.

Drugs or alcohol didn’t appear to be a factor in the collision, Ross said.

Anyone with information on the collision is asked to call Ross at (831) 758-7975. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call the police tip line at (831) 775-4222, WeTip line at (800) 782-7463 or send a text to 847411 with “SPD831” in the message.