Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Memorial for Jeffrey Wayne Price, 500 block of Division Street NE DC

A complicated tale...

From a DC Police report:  Investigators with the Metropolitan Police Department’s Major Crash Investigations Unit are investigating a fatal traffic crash that occurred on Friday, May 4, 2018, at the intersection of Division Avenue and Fitch Place NE, Washington DC. A preliminary investigation revealed that at approximately 1:49 pm, a dirt bike was traveling northbound in the 500 block of Division Avenue on the wrong side of the roadway. While the motorcycle was traveling at a high rate of speed on Division Avenue, it struck a marked police vehicle. Officers rendered aid to the operator of the dirt bike until DC Fire and EMS transported the operator to a local hospital for treatment of life threatening injuries. After all life-saving efforts failed, the victim was pronounced dead.
The decedent has been identified as Jeffrey Wayne Price, 22, of Northeast, DC.
This incident remains under investigation.

Excerpted from a TV news report:
A deadly crash involving a dirt bike and a DC police vehicle is still under investigation as family and friends of the man killed are questioning what exactly led to the collision. Jeffrey Price was killed when his dirt bike struck the police cruiser last Friday afternoon on Division Avenue and Fitch Place in Northeast DC.

DC police's preliminary investigation has revealed that Price was riding his dirt bike northbound on Division Avenue when it crossed onto the wrong side of the roadway. They said Price was speeding when it struck the marked DC police cruiser. However, Price’s family told reprorters that several witnesses have told them that police were pursuing Price before he crashed, and that the cruiser he hit pulled out to block his path. Two teenage witnesses, whose parents asked that they not be identified,  said they saw an officer pull in front of Price, causing the crash.
"Jeffrey was coming down here zooming on the dirt bike and the police officer had just like pushed over there and made him like hit the door and then the wheel went into the door. He had flew, hit the ground," said one of the teenagers. The other also shared a similar story.

Dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles are prohibited from traveling on the roadways in the District, but it is against police department policy to pursue these illegal vehicles because of safety issues.

“We don’t have any information to suggest there was a pursuit,” he said. “There were several witnesses that were out on their porches that day. We spoke to all of them and none of them suggested it was a pursuit. So if the family has somebody that is saying this, we would like to hear from them.”

When we asked the police chief if there was a blocking maneuver used by police, Newsham said, “That remains to be seen. I can tell you if you go up to the scene and see this for yourself, the motorcycle left about 60 yards of skid marks before it struck the vehicle, so it appears we had an unauthorized vehicle on the streets of the District of Columbia operating at a high rate of speed. What caused of the accident remains to be seen.”

A memorial at the scene of the crash continues to grow as Price's friends are upset and believe police played a role in his death. “He was a genuine person, very genuine and he is going to be missed and he is going to be loved,” said Ashley Dorsey, Price’s friend. “We are just trying to keep the peace and we want this to be noticed,” said another friend. “We don’t want this to be at a standstill. This thing is serious and the police need to be held accountable for their actions also.”
The. following night, several ATV and dirt bike riders were seen riding up and down the street on Division Avenue in the same area where Price was killed. A person on an ATV was seen riding slowly while he revved his engine, flashed his middle finger and performed wheelies as a DC police cruiser with its lights and siren on followed close behind him.

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