By Jim Newell
A high-speed motorcycle chase that began on I-75 in Auburn Hills ended in Lake Orion after the driver of the Yamaha motorcycle hit a curb and crashed near the M-24/Broadway Street intersection early Monday morning.
Police said the motorcycle was traveling at speeds greater than 100 miles per hour at the time of the crash, at about 1:30 a.m. June 12.
The suspect, a 28-year-old Davison man, survived the crash but is in serious condition at an area hospital as of Monday afternoon, said Chief Jerry Narsh of the Lake Orion Police Department.
Authorities did not release the name of the man, who now faces a felony charge for fleeing and eluding police and four misdemeanor charges.
“It’s amazing that he’s alive. He shouldn’t be. He’s in serious condition,” Narsh said. “It’s beyond belief that he survived that crash. I’ve seen crashes at half that speed that were fatal.”
LOPD Officer Christopher Mires heard the call over police dispatch that a motorcycle traveling at dangerous speeds was fleeing northbound on M-24. Mires parked his patrol car near the intersection and waited.
Narsh said that Mires reported that when he saw the motorcycle, “It looked like a comet coming at ground level” toward him.
“As the motorcyclist approached the curve in the roadway just north of Atwater Street, he struck the curb, lost control and was ejected from the motorcycle. The driver and motorcycle separately both narrowly missed striking the stationary LOPD patrol car,” Narsh said.
Mires said both the motorcycle and the driver “cartwheeled” down M-24 before coming to a stop.
Mires immediately exited his vehicle to check on the driver and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Auburn Hills police arrived to assist the LOPD at the scene.
The driver and motorcycle matched the description of the AHPD incident.
The responding LOPD police unit does not have in-car video of the incident.
During the search of the driver, a small amount of suspected marijuana was discovered, Narsh said.
The incident began at 1:22 a.m. June 12 when an Auburn Hills police officer northbound on I-75 near University Drive saw a motorcycle traveling northbound in front of him at more than 100 miles per hour.
The officer turned on his emergency lights and sirens and stopped the motorcycle near the southbound Baldwin Road exit. As the officer exited his vehicle, the motorcycle driver made a U-turn and sped away traveling south in the northbound lanes of I-75, according to police reports.
The officer notified dispatch and gave a description of the suspect: a black male, wearing a red short-sleeve T-shirt with a black helmet and driving a black color motorcycle. The officer also got a partial license plate number.
The motorcycle exited I-75 at Lapeer Road traveling the wrong direction, nearly striking head on with another Auburn Hills police car.
The AHPD officers reported that the motorcycle was now northbound on Lapeer Road. Due to the motorcycle speed and conditions, Auburn Hills PD units discontinued with the attempt to stop the driver and notified dispatch to advise the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office in Orion Township.
Sheriff’s deputies saw the motorcycle northbound on Lapeer Road near Silverbell Road and advised dispatch they would not engage because of the high-rate of speed, and had dispatch services notify Orion police to be on the lookout for the suspect.
Authorities presented the case to the Oakland County Prosecutors office for review on a felony charge of fleeing an eluding police, and misdemeanor charges of reckless driving, driving with a suspended driver’s license, possession of marijuana and a possible operating while intoxicated/operating with the presence of drugs, pending search warrants for a blood test.