Victim ID’d in fatal motorcycle crash during Middletown police pursuit

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Fatal motorcycle crash in Middletown

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Middletown police officer who was pursing a motorcyclist who crashed and died Thursday afternoon has been placed on paid administrative leave, according to Chief David Birk.

The motorcyclist was identified Friday as Jesse Myers, 38, of Middletown, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office. He died from multiple traumatic injuries and his death was ruled an accident.

Birk said the officer, whose name hasn’t been released, will be interviewed today by Ohio State Highway Patrol investigators and the results will be announced next week. He said it’s common for officers involved in “traumatic events” such as fatal crashes and shootings to be given a few days before they’re interviewed.

The officer was “shaken up” on Thursday, Birk said.

“We worry about the welfare of our officers,” Birk said.

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He said it appears early in the investigation that the officer followed proper police procedure.

On Thursday afternoon, Myers was seen making several “hand to hand transactions” of methamphetamine, Birk said. A patrol officer in a marked cruiser was called and he tried to pull over Myers at the corner of Breiel Boulevard and Lefferson Road, Birk said. In the video, which hasn’t been released because the investigation is ongoing, Myers pulls over, then takes off and the officer follows, Birk said.

“It was his choice to flee,” the chief said.

Less than one mile later, on Lefferson Road near Spring Grove Lane, the motorcycle crashed into the back of a tractor trailer. The rider was pronounced dead at the scene.

Birk said Myers had at least two convictions for possession of drugs in 2017, police said.

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