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Roger Rochart killed in crash

Husband of New Horizons founder was thrown from his motorcycle and run over.

November 16, 2010|By Melanie Hicken, melanie.hicken@latimes.com

CITY OF INDUSTRY — The husband of New Horizons founder Maria Rochart was killed Saturday after being thrown from his motorcycle and run over by another vehicle in a multiple-car crash on the San Gabriel Valley (605) Freeway, California Highway Patrol officials said.

Roger Rochart, a 47-year-old chiropractor, was pronounced dead at the scene of Saturday's accident, which occurred about 3:55 p.m. on the northbound 605 Freeway north of Peck Road, officials said. His passenger, Daisy Tew, 50, of Arcadia, suffered serious injuries.

Roger and Maria Rochart had been involved in ongoing divorce and child custody proceedings since December, according to Los Angeles County court records.

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Maria Rochart, who has been embroiled in controversy in recent months surrounding financial problems at New Horizons, could not be reached Monday.

California Highway Patrol officials are seeking any information about an unknown driver who started the chain-reaction crash that killed Roger Rochart.

He and Tew were traveling north on a 2007 Harley-Davidson motorcycle when an unknown vehicle changed lanes in front of two cars traveling ahead of Rochart in the carpool lane.

A 46-year-old Carson man driving a 2007 Lexus GX470 braked to avoid a collision with the unknown car, officials said. A 53-year-old Hesperia woman driving a 2000 Chevy Suburban then rear-ended the Lexus.

The impact forced the Suburban into the path of Rochart's motorcycle, which caused a collision that ejected Rochart and Tew from the motorcycle, officials said. Both were then run over by the Suburban.

The unknown vehicle that caused the accident left the scene and has not been found. California Highway Patrol Officer Al Perez said the incident could be ruled a "non-contact hit-and-run," and that the investigation remained ongoing.

Anyone with information about the accident is asked to contact the Santa Fe Springs California Highway Patrol office at (562) 868-0503.

Roger Rochart was a former member of the New Horizons Board of Directors and a major contributor in her unsuccessful 2005 campaign for the Glendale Unified school board.

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