A motorcyclist critically hurt in a hit-and-run collision on Highway 17 south of Los Gatos on Tuesday has been declared brain-dead, and authorities said they have identified the woman who fled the scene but have not located her.
The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner's Office said on Thursday that Michael Schaupp, 36, remained at Stanford Hospital but was determined to have irreversibly lost all function of his brain.
The crash occurred around 1:25 p.m. as Schaupp, of Santa Cruz, traveled north on the highway at normal speed, approaching Idylwild Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.
A black Ford Explorer pulled off Idylwild and directly into Schaupp's path. When his 1996 Honda motorcycle struck the SUV, Schaupp was thrown about 20 feet across the roadway, to the edge of the opposite lanes, according to the CHP.
The woman driving the Explorer at first stopped, then fled north on the highway. The vehicle was found minutes later, abandoned on the Bear Creek Road offramp.
CHP Officer Chris Falkowski said that through interviews and evidence gathered from the vehicle, they were able to determine who was driving the Ford.
But "we have been unable to interview her," he said. "We do not know her whereabouts."
He said they do not believe the driver is the registered owner of the Ford, but would not offer further identification due to the "open and active investigation."
He said charges sought against the driver "at the very least" would be felony hit-and-run causing injury or death.
Friends of Schaupp set up a fund collection website, at first to pay for medical bills and later to help his family, which includes a son.
"We lost a very special person today," wrote Sarah Bergstrom, who set up the site and said Schaupp was a friend and bandmate. "Mike was a wonderful man full of life and always smiling, making this ugly world look so beautiful."
The funding site can be found at www.gofundme.com/5pj9h0.
Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.