BELLEFONTAINE — Authorities say a Sidney man killed in a motorcycle crash Aug. 23 had been involved in an organized drag race before the accident.
The Bellefontaine Examiner reported that Logan County Prosecutor William T. Goslee on Friday released air surveillance video of a drag race, a rolling road block and a fatal motorcycle crash recorded in the early morning hours Aug. 23 by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Goslee said the 19-minute, 30-second, video clearly shows troopers broke off a pursuit of motorcyclist Brett J. Metz about a minute before he crashed while westbound on State Route 47.
Authorities have been looking at an ad-hoc group that uses social media and text messages to set nighttime drag races on county roads.
They have been gathering at Bellefontaine retail establishments and then heading out to the designated spots. The outlaw racers run to win cash wagers.
Goslee said the video recorded a race on U.S. with a rolling roadblock of cars and a group of motorcyclists, including Metz, which accelerated to high speeds in the city.
In the first 10 minutes of the video, authorities follow the progress of the road races and at about the 10:15 mark, an officer of the Bellefontaine Police Department stationed near the Ohio 540 exit attempts to stop the lead motorcycle, which continues at a high speed to U.S. 68 at the 11-minute mark.
The motorcycle proceeds at high speeds south through the city. Officers and troopers near the BPD headquarters pick up the suspect at the intersection of Detroit Street and Sandusky Avenue at the 13:30 mark and follow him west on Ohio 47 out of town.
Officers state they are no longer pursuing at about the 15-minute mark after an observer reports an estimated speed in excess of 130 mph. About 45 seconds later, the motorcycle can be seen traveling off the right side of a road at a curve.
Officers are on scene moments later but it takes direction from the airborne observers to locate the victim and the motorcycle. There was nothing they could do for the victim.