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Raleigh police say officer appeared to follow policy in fatal scooter wreck

Posted June 8, 2013

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— Raleigh police said Saturday that an officer whose cruiser collided with a scooter earlier this week, killing two men, does not appear to have violated state law by traveling 77 mph in a 35 mph zone.

According to a police report, Maurice Antonio Harden, 20, of 3947 Patriot Ridge Court, was traveling east on Skycrest Drive near Hill Street shortly after 3 a.m. Wednesday when he veered into oncoming traffic, hitting officer Jonathan Crews, who was attempting to stop a speeding car.

Police spokesman Jim Sughrue said the collision is still under investigation, but it appears that Crews followed state law, which allows police officers to travel over the posted speed limit when pursuing a speeding vehicle.

Crews had not activated his siren or blue lights, Sughrue said, but department policy states that "the use of blue lights and siren may be excluded when overtaking vehicles for violation of traffic laws."

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  • determined2win Jun 11, 2013

    I live near the scene of the incident - the officer was in his lane, and the scooter crossed in front of him. Collision occurred. The photo of the stopped/crashed police car being in the wrong lane is misleading a bunch of folks to say that the scooter riders are innocent. Look at the physical, VISIBLE evidence before passing judgement on the officer.

  • Red Green Jun 10, 2013

    Raleigh Joe - The majority that we see on the road spew oil and smoke and are barely capable of 30 mph.

  • LocalYokel Jun 10, 2013

    I would like to see the evidence that proves officer Johnathan Crews was pursuing a speeder.

    Its been years since I've witnessed the RPD enforcing a traffic law.

  • miseem Jun 10, 2013

    Policy definitely needs a review. Looking at photos from another source, the cop crested a hill just a few hundred feet from the impact. The blame may rest mostly on the scooter riders, but anyone attempting to turn left there, or turning right out of their driveway, would have been hit and probably killed (in addition to the officer, if it had been a decent sized car). Even if you saw some headlights beyond the rise, you would not expect them to be coming at you at 77 mph in a 35 zone. If you saw the blue lights over the hill, I think you'd hold off on your turn. I understand the point of no light, no siren - get right behind a speeder/DWI so they won't have a warning and may have less chance of them getting a head start and going even faster, but that should be limited to one way traffic areas, not hilly, residential areas.

  • Raleigh Joe Jun 10, 2013

    Ole Glory: most scooters are 50cc and illegal to drive on the road without registration and insurance. They actually go 60mph+

  • Red Green Jun 10, 2013

    "Drunk criminals steal a scooter and ride well over the speed limit with their lights off." kdnole

    Good one! These things will do thirty five down hill with a tail wind from a hurricane.

  • Red Green Jun 10, 2013

    "Raleigh police say officer appeared to follow policy in fatal scooter wreck."

    Did any one expect any other conclusion? The infamous good ole boy network!

  • trianglerelic Jun 10, 2013

    77 mph in a 35 mph zone with NO lights nor Sirens? Sounds to me like the Policy needs adjusting.

  • Raleigh Joe Jun 10, 2013

    Scubagirl: don't you think they were trying to catch up and surprise the speeder? If they come from afar with blue lights on it increases the odds that the driver may try to turn off, speed off or elude the officer. Sneeking up on speeders reduces pursuits from happening.

  • Hans Jun 10, 2013

    Color me shocked - NOT!

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