A motorcyclist who was being tracked by the Los Angeles Police Department on Thursday was killed on live television during a high-speed pursuit.
The motorist, who remains publicly unidentified at the time of this reporting, purportedly stole the bike and was traveling at speeds up to 130 miles per hour in the moments leading up to the fatal crash.
The LAPD stated that while the motorcycle was previously reported stolen, police were not involved in an active pursuit at the time of the crash.
What are the details?
The motorist was caught on camera speeding through the West Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon, appearing to run through lights and stop signs while weaving in and out of traffic.
The suspect, according to reports, was traveling at speeds far over the posted limit and crashed into a vehicle making a left turn onto another road in the intersection.
Video captured the moment the suspect struck the car, flipped, and flew high into the air before the camera cut away.
According to a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department, the suspect was declared dead on the scene. Two other people were injured in the crash, but are said to be in stable condition.
“It’s a very sad day here. Just another example of how reckless driving — regardless of who it is — causes death,” LAPD Capt. Andy Neiman said in a statement.
“There were some statements made that we were in pursuit of this motorcycle,” Neiman added. “I just want to make it very clear, at no time were we in pursuit.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that police spotted the motorcycle — which had been reported as stolen — and broadcast the license plate over the radio. Authorities requested that a helicopter track the motorcyclist’s movements.
According to KCAL-TV:
Undercover officers noticed something suspicious about the motorcycle and its rider just after 1 p.m. “There was something that alerted the undercover officers,” Neiman continued, “they ran motorcycle license and it came back as a confirmed stolen.”
When officers attempted to pull the motorcyclist over in a nearby parking lot, he bolted from the scene,”When he fled, a decision was made by the supervisors and the incident commanders that we would not pursue this motorcycle,” Neiman said.
It was then that the motorcycle proceeded to flee from the officers at speeds over 100 miles per hour, losing the police cruiser that was following. However, the police helicopter was still overhead to follow the driver. Neiman relayed that several factors played into the decision to not pursue the motorcycle including, “The time of day, the level of traffic and the potential danger to the public.”