PETALUMA (CBS SF) — Police on Monday said a man purposely killed himself early Friday morning by riding in the wrong direction on U.S. Highway 101 and crashing his motorcycle head-on into a car after having slain his 28-year-old girlfriend in Petaluma.
Joseph Dane Beaver, a 34-year-old Petaluma resident, is suspected of killing
Lauren Brittney McCrum with a baseball bat and a knife, Petaluma Police Lt.
Ed Crosby said in a statement. After an investigation, the California Highway
Patrol ruled that Beaver died by suicide by driving his Harley-Davidson into a car on the highway while traveling in the wrong direction.
“Based on the circumstances and evidence collected thus far, Beaver is suspected of murdering McCrum,” Crosby said. “He subsequently drove northbound into the southbound 101 freeway, where he impacted with the southbound Honda.”
Beaver and McCrum had been a couple for about two years, Crosby said.
The crash took place at about 1:20 a.m. Friday. About 40 minutes later, police responded to a request to check on the welfare of a woman in the 700 block of Sixth Street in Petaluma. McCrum was discovered there dead, with multiple injuries from a baseball bat and knife wounds to her head and neck, Crosby said.
The 24-year-old driver of the Honda Fit that Beaver drove into was rescued from her burning vehicle by a passerby. She suffered major injuries
but is expected to survive.
Investigation of the crash closed the southbound lanes of the freeway until 5:45 a.m. Friday morning.
Investigations by Petaluma police and the California Highway Patrol are ongoing.
Anyone with information concerning either death investigation is asked to contact Petaluma Police Detective John Silva at 707-778-4532.
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