A motorcyclist died Friday after he struck the rear of a Missouri State Highway Patrol car.
Dalton L. Smith, 19, of St. Joseph, died from injuries sustained in the crash, which occurred around 1:30 p.m. on U.S. Highway 71 north, two miles west of Savannah, Mo.
Country Club Village police were pursuing Mr. Smith when they requested assistance from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, said Sgt. Sheldon Lyon, spokesman.
The trooper, Travis L. Williams, had turned around in the median and was pulling onto the highway, with his emergency lights on, to join the pursuit. That’s when Mr. Smith crashed into the back of the patrol car.
“As soon as the motorcycle struck the back of the highway patrol car, it burst into flames,” Mr. Lyon said. “Of course, the driver was ejected from the motorcycle and landed some distance ahead of where the impact was.”
Officers believe he was traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour. Mr. Lyon said it was unclear why Country Club Village police were pursuing him.
Authorities in Country Club would not comment on the ongoing investigation.
Mr. Smith was transported by LifeNet to Heartland Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. His Honda 600 motorcycle was destroyed.
The 39-year-old trooper suffered minor injuries. His patrol car, a brand-new Dodge Charger, was also a total loss.
The Highway Patrol closed both northbound lanes at Route T to conduct an in-depth crash reconstruction, which is protocol for any officer-involved crash, Mr. Lyon said. The road reopened shortly after 5:30 p.m.