Investigators Seek to Locate BMW Involved in Traffic Fatality

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On Monday, July 23, 2012, at approximately 3:30 p.m., officers from the Long Beach Police Department were dispatched to the area of Clark Avenue and Stearns Street where a traffic collision occurred that resulted in the death of an adult male.

The investigation revealed that a motorcyclist traveling northbound on Clark Avenue attempted to pass a black BMW sedan, which was also traveling northbound. Based on the investigation, it appears that the motorcyclist was splitting lanes when he attempted to pass the vehicle on the left, and he was thrown from his bike onto the roadway after his motorcycle collided with the vehicle’s left rear bumper.

Following the collision the BMW continued northbound on Clark Avenue, failing to stop or render assistance. A witness attempted to follow the BMW from the scene as it sped away, and last saw it headed northbound on Bellflower Boulevard from Willow Street. Two occupants were observed inside the BMW, but there is no suspect description other than they appeared to be male.

Witnesses at the scene stopped and rendered aid to the motorcyclist, and he was transported to a local hospital with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries. His condition worsened, and on Thursday, July 26, 2012, he was pronounced deceased. He has been identified as James William Rodewald, a 55-year-old resident of Lakewood.

The public’s help is needed in locating the newer model black BMW sedan, which likely has damage to the left rear bumper. Detectives hope that will lead them to the occupants of the vehicle who are sought for questioning, and charges are pending.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Long Beach Police Department Accident Investigations Detail Detective Sirilo Garcia at (562) 570-7355. Anonymous tips may be submitted via text or web by visiting

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