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Two killed in collision with Raleigh police cruiser

Posted June 5, 2013

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— Police say a man driving a stolen motor scooter crossed the center line in northeast Raleigh early Wednesday, killing himself and a passenger after they collided with an oncoming police cruiser.

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. when he veered into oncoming traffic, hitting officer Jonathan Crews, who was attempting to stop a speeding car.

Crews crested a hill but was unable to avoid the scooter, according to the report.

Harden, who authorities suspect had been drinking, was traveling 53 mph in a 35 mph zone, while Crews was traveling 77 mph.

Harden and Trindell Devon Thomas, 21, of 2712 Landis St., were thrown from the scooter and died at the scene. Crews suffered minor injuries.

The front end of Crews' police car was damaged, and the scooter had to be pulled out from under the front of the car.

Relatives remember man who died on scooter Relatives remember man who died on scooter

At the time of the collision, another officer had been trying to catch up to the scooter after noticing a malfunctioning headlamp, police said, but neither officer had initiated a pursuit of the vehicles they were following.

Later in the day, family and friends came to the spot where the two men died to see it for themselves. Some left flowers.

Carl Maynor, Thomas' stepfather, said he didn't know Hardin or why his stepson was out with him before dawn.

"We're in shock," he said. "You wake up and your whole life changes. We lost somebody. There's no words for how I feel, and his mom."

Maynor described his stepson as outgoing and a great basketball player. Thomas also became a father a week ago.

"He was just finding himself," another family member said, "He was getting his life together."

Maynor said the family wants more information from the police about what happened.

"They're still doing investigations, so we're going to try to get everything together and go from there," he said.

Harden's family declined to comment Wednesday.

Most people in the neighborhood were sleeping when the crash happened but said there have been several wrecks in the same area and that it's not uncommon for police to patrol the area.

"Police cars, every once in a while, do patrol this area, because people tend to come down the long hill fast," neighbor Cliff Vaughan said. "So they'll set up radar every once in a while"

According to Raleigh police, Crews, 27, works in the Field Operations division and was hired in July 2009.

Court records indicate Harden was convicted in 2011 of receiving a stolen vehicle and served 90 days in prison.

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  • ferretmommy Jun 13, 2013

    Wow, after reading these comments I am sickened... First of all my prayers go out to the two men who lost their lives, the newborn child who now has no father, the mother who now has to raise a child alone, and to the officer who is most likely emotionally hurting. No matter who's fault it is, I am sure many are hurting over this tragedy. Next, those of you "bashing" scooter drivers, stop stereotyping. Not all scooters are driven by unlicensed, uninsured people with a DWI. As a matter of fact, my boyfriend had owned more then one and is none of those, neither are our friends who also own scooters. Some people, like in our case, LIKE to ride them and it is easier on gas for the commute back and forth to work. Also, thank you to the officers who are able to look at their computers or phones while driving, I know I would not like for you to have to stop to answer a call while someone's in danger!

  • jjsmith1973 Jun 7, 2013

    Oh and the story printed they were drunk less than 24 hours, blood test would take longer than the 12 hours they reported them as drunk, so this is what we have a scooter that isn't stolen, no true evidence they had been drinking at all, and four witnesses that refute the police details of what happened. The kids were pulling into a driveway when the office came flying over the hill with no lights in pursuit of no one in a residential area. The kids were on their legally owned scooter. So all you people that blindly support everything the police do and smeared the victims here should feel ashamed

  • jjsmith1973 Jun 7, 2013

    This story is all wrong, they were really trying to smear the victims sad. Oh and the scooter wasn't stolen

  • jjsmith1973 Jun 7, 2013

    Well, well on another news show yesterday about this there has been for witnesses that dispute what the police say happened. That the officer speed was the result of the crash as the people on the Twitter were turning into a drive and it was announced that due to the credibility of the four witnesses there is now going to be an outside agency investigation

  • ericanicole0720 Jun 7, 2013

    The scooter was a gift from his sister, the work to defile the character of these two young men is unbelievable

  • henry1 Jun 7, 2013

    Just a little math; at 76 mph you are traveling 111.5 feet per second. To put that in perspective, it is not uncommon for a residential building lot to be 100 feet in width. No amount of evasive driving training can alter the laws of physics or give someone superhuman reaction times. To drive at 76 mph at night with no siren or emergency lights is to show reckless disregard for fellow citizens life and limb. Even if they are not model citizens.

  • lcbeachbum1978 Jun 6, 2013

    Ok. Clearly, I didn't read the entire article correctly, however, there seems to be more to the story, not being shared. May the families of those involved find peace in their time of grief.

  • lcbeachbum1978 Jun 6, 2013

    I'm sorry these 2 men were killed in the accident, however, looking at the pictures shown here, it seems the police cruiser is the one that crossed the center line and hit the scooter head on. Am I just not seeing this correctly? Why are the fingers being pointed to the men that lost their lives? I feel there is more to this story, not being shared, and the 2 gentlemen no longer have a voice to tell their story. I see 2 solid yellow lines and a police cruiser on the WRONG side of those lines, which would put the scooter on the correct side of the lines upon impact. Am I incorrect in my judgement, clearly shown in these pictures?

  • Whatdaheck Jun 6, 2013

    I had a tiny Honda scooter (49cc upgraded to 70cc) that would pull wheelies from the start and do 70mph. Try that on 10" rims on a scooter that only weighs in at 100lbs.

    first of all, not all scooters are 49cc. Secondly, if they were heading down the hill, I would imagine momentum could really get things going... or embellishment of the facts.

    This sounds like a very unfortunate *accident*.

  • Classified Jun 6, 2013

    "How do you get a moped to do 53..." zenonx6

    Just a slight embellishment of the facts ;)

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