A motorcyclist on a 998cc-size bike was killed Wednesday evening when he tried to pass a full-size SUV and the SUV struck his motorcycle and sent it airborne on Highway 108 west of O’Byrnes Ferry Road, California Highway Patrol personnel based in Jamestown said.

The motorcyclist was identified by CHP as Joshua Cody Boykin, 45, of Ceres.

Asked if Boykin had the right of way when the SUV struck his motorcycle, Officer Faustino Pulido responded, “The collision is still under investigation.”

Boykin was riding a 2016 Yamaha R1 westbound at a speed of 50 to 55 miles per hour on Highway 108 about 6:25 p.m. when he moved his motorcycle into the eastbound lane and began to pass slower-moving vehicles in front of him, CHP personnel said in a statement.

As the motorcyclist pulled alongside a westbound 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe, the Tahoe driver moved to the left, began to enter the eastbound lane, and struck the motorcycle. The force of the collision caused the Yamaha to travel left, across the eastbound lane, onto the shoulder, up an embankment and go airborne.

Boykin was thrown off his Yamaha and he landed in the dirt-and-grass shoulder. His motorcycle tumbled across the top of the embankment and came to rest on the shoulder, south of the rider.

The driver of the Tahoe, Jeffery Smith, 25, of Turlock, stopped his vehicle on the south shoulder, west of the crash scene, CHP personnel said. He and his passenger were wearing seatbelts and were not injured.

Boykin was wearing a full-face helmet, which did not prevent his fatal injuries. He died at the crash scene.

Alcohol and drugs were not suspected as factors in the crash, CHP personnel said. No one was cited or arrested Wednesday.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.com or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

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