Motorcyclist Dies In High-Speed Police Chase

LIVINGSTON COUNTY (WWJ) – A police chase on westbound I-96 near Fowlerville ended when the driver of a racing motorcycle crashed into the back of a police car that was trying to stop him.

Authorities said the 20-year-old motorcycle rider from South Lyon died after crashing into the rear of a police cruiser around 4:30 Tuesday morning.

Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte said officers were parked along the freeway looking for speeders when the 2001 Yamaha YZF 600 high-performance racing cycle zoomed past them.

“Our patrol cars, they were running radar at Mason Road and I-96 westbound, had him at 104 miles per hour. He was going so fast the patrol car pulled out to give chase. We had another car at M-59, which is about a mile and a half up, they had him at 114,” Bezotte said.

The Sheriff’s Department alerted Fowlerville police, who dispatched a cruiser to a stretch of the interstate ahead of the chase.

“Once they activated their lights, the driver accelerated to well-over 130. The Fowlerville car, which was up about four or five miles yet, he activated his lights and when the bike tried to go around him, he  lost control and hit the back of the Fowlerville police car and he was pronounced dead at the scene,” Bezotte said.

According to, the YZF 600 has a 599cc engine and can travel at speeds surpassing 150 miles per hour.

Authorities are now trying to figure out what ties the man may have had with Michigan State University. Bezotte said the driver had a Michigan State University ID card and was likely on his way to the campus.

Police are not releasing the South Lyon man’s name pending notification of the victim’s family.

The accident investigation had a stretch of the freeway in Livingston County closed for nearly five hours.

  • Tim

    i hope there is a complete investigation on this accident i believe the officer is responsible for the life of this kid we seen the aftermath and it was heartbreaking thing to see our prayers go out to the family

  • law abiding citizen

    I drive all the time on 696 and watch these motorcycles fly. They drive so fast one came within inches of my rear bumper before he almost lost control. Then flew off like I was standing still. I think anyone who decides to drive like a maniac takes the risk. I feel for the officer that has to live with watching an idiot smash into him. I believe the motorcycle has breaks, should have stopped long before hitting 130.

  • Lets Not Blame the Law

    I think it is absolutely ignorant to say that the officer is at fault here. This guy was traveling WELL above the speed limit and put his own life in danger. If he wasn’t traveling at such high speeds in the first place, we wouldn’t be reading this article. Or maybe we would and it would just be minus the police chase part. He could have killed himself regardless of police involvement. Not that I’m not sympathizing for this man and his family but lets not blame the police for his mistakes.

  • Brad

    Both the rider and the police are responsible for his death, not one or the other. They both played roles that contributed greatly to the outcome. The difference is that the police should have a little bit more sense than the 20 year old kid.

    Once you begin a chase like this and realize that the biker is not going to slow down/stop, you must know there are only 2 ways it is going to end. Either the biker is going to get away, or there is going to be a horrible crash. Continuing a pursuit like this only encourages the reckless biker to drive faster and more recklessly, a result the police officers are obviously aware of.

    • Angie

      Better a crash with just the rider, than a crash involving other innocent people.

  • Dakota

    Well I guess the police got their man. The action seems a little extreme for a speeder. Now if he had just murder a family or shot a cop then you would not want to lose him. But speeding, come on, sounds like those country boys had nothing better to do but chase a kid on a bike.

  • Prosecutor: No Charges In Motorcyclist Chase Death « CBS Detroit

    […] motorcyclist died crashing into the rear of a police cruiser last month on Interstate 96 during a chase in Livingston […]

  • Angie

    This 20 year old not only put his life at risk, but others on the road as well. He made the choice to speed and therefore he took his own life. I would bet that most would not have any sympathy if this kid had caused a fatal crash with your wife, husband or kids. You would have wished someone would have stopped him. Just yesterday, a motorcyclist passed me on the overpass from 275 to I696 going I would guess about 100. He came very close to my van. Had I swerved 2 feet to the left, there would have been an accident. They travel so fast it is impossible to pass safely. His fault not mine. He wants to drive like a fool, then he gets a fools consequence.

  • yoyoyo

    Angie, The officer was not injured. What makes you think that this would be fatal for anyone in a car?

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