The Salt Lake Tribune reported that in Price, Utah officers, at about 2 a.m., spotted a motorcycle being ridden by a man and woman as it roared through town ay about 95 mph. The police were unable to follow the motorcycle at the time. However, a short time later, the motorcycle was again spotted while leaving town. The police again attempted pursuit but the motorcycle escaped hitting speeds of134 mph. Because of the high speed officers terminated pursuit.
A Union Pacific train employee called 911 at about 3:20 a.m. reporting a body near the 400 West railway crossing in Wellington, Utah. Police responded and found the bodies of the man and woman next to the wreckage of the motorcycle earlier spotted in Price. “Our initial investigation indicates the motorcycle driver failed to negotiate a curve and crashed. Both the man and woman appeared to have died on impact,” officer Adams said. KSL also has pictures of the crash scene.
There has been many incidents across the nation where police officers have engaged in pursuits of motorcycles for various traffic violations. Nothing wrong with that – you break the law you should pay the price. However, engaging in high-speed chases over extended periods of time endangers the people on the motorcycle, the police officers, and of course the public. The officers here did exactly the right thing in my opinion by breaking off the chase. The officers were also probably following police procedure – good for them. If the police had engaged in a prolonged pursuit and violated policy trying to catch a speeding motorcycle for a simple traffic violation and in effect causing the motorcycle to crash they might be found responsible for the crash.
The reports do not say whether the driver of the motorcycle was the man or the woman. Whomever the passenger was, or if that can be determined,may well have a civil claim against the driver for wrongful death. It appears relatively clear that the driver of the motorcycle was responsible for the crash when he failed to negotiate a curve causing the crash and thereby the death of the passenger.
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