Bullet bike, clocked at 100 mph-plus in Park City, eludes police pursuit | ParkRecord.com

Bullet bike, clocked at 100 mph-plus in Park City, eludes police pursuit

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Someone driving a bullet bike-style motorcycle tore through Park City in the early morning hours of last Friday, speeding away from a pursuing police officer, the Police Department said.

The case is a rare episode in Park City of an officer not being able to catch up to a driver suspected of speeding. The officer stopped the pursuit based on safety concerns, the police said.

Phil Kirk, a Police Department captain, said the officer was conducting a traffic patrol on a side street off of Kearns Boulevard at 3:36 a.m. when he saw the motorcycle drive past outbound on Kearns Boulevard. An initial police report indicated the motorcycle is blue.

Kirk said the officer turned on his vehicle’s lights and sirens. The officer started pursuing the motorcyclist. Kirk said the officer clocked the motorcyclist at more than 100 mph.

"The bike was actually widening the gap between the two of them," Kirk said.

Kirk said the officer determined the pursuit posed a risk to public safety and ended the chase after a brief amount of time. The captain commended the officer for his decision not to continue the pursuit. He said the high speed was a danger to the motorcyclist, noting that roads are not designed for 100 mph-plus speeds and there was a chance of an animal being on the road.

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The motorcycle driver would have realized the police were in pursuit, Kirk said, describing that there was a very strong likelihood that the driver saw the emergency lights.

The motorcycle driver turned off Kearns Boulevard onto a road just east of the planted divider along the Park City entryway, Kirk said. The road is sometimes referred to as the dump road or the old dump road. Kirk said the motorcyclist was last seen heading in the direction of Browns Canyon Road.

The Police Department asked the Summit County Sheriff’s Office for assistance, but there were no deputies close enough to intercept the motorcyclist, Kirk said.

The speed limit on Kearns Boulevard outbound is 35 mph outside the Park City School District campus. It increases to 50 mph in the outbound direction once the road passes Prospector before dropping to 45 mph close to the Quinn’s Junction recreation complex.

Kirk said it is "extremely rare" for someone to be clocked at 100 mph inside the Park City limits. Local cases involving drivers clocked at 100 mph or faster, which are uncommon, typically are on Interstate 80.

If the motorcyclist is found, Kirk said, the person could be charged with speeding, reckless driving and fleeing from a police officer.

"It was most dangerous to the motorcyclist," Kirk said.

Kirk said the officer who was pursuing the motorcycle was in constant contact with dispatchers and a supervisor. They were weighing the risks of continuing the pursuit, Kirk said. The officer decided to stop pursuing the motorcycle, Kirk said.

The officer indicated afterward he might have seen the motorcycle and the driver twice earlier in the evening, Kirk said. In one possible sighting, the officer might have seen the driver and the motorcycle at a Park City business, Kirk said. Meanwhile, he might have seen the driver and the motorcycle at a gas station in Park City, he said.

"We have some good indication who the individual is already," Kirk said.

The police hope there is video surveillance from the two businesses, he said. Kirk said it appears the motorcyclist was driving home at the time of the pursuit. Since the police might have the person’s identity, catching the driver during the pursuit was not as critical, Kirk said.

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