Police said Monday that speeding played a major role in the death of a 30-year-old man after his motorcycle collided with an SUV Friday night.
Cornelius Scales died at Wesley Medical Center on Friday night from injuries he sustained in the collision at about 6 p.m. that evening at 11th and Oliver, said Lt. Joe Schroeder.
Scales was riding south with two acquaintances at a high rate of speed, a witness told police, when he accelerated away from the other riders.
A 78-year-old man who was driving east on 11th pulled out from a stop sign at Oliver, and Scales slammed on the brakes of his motorcycle but was unable to avoid a collision.
His motorcycle hit the back end of the SUV, went down and skidded across the intersection, Schroeder said. The bike hit a utility pole on the southwest corner of the intersection, ejecting Scales, who was not wearing a helmet.
"Speed was a significant factor" in the crash, Schroeder said.
Scales left perhaps 150 feet of skid marks on the street trying to brake and avoid the collision.
Investigators are trying to determine how fast Scales was traveling when he hit the brakes. Witnesses estimated the three riders were traveling at perhaps 60 mph in the 35-mph zone before Scales surged ahead of the other riders.
The two other riders came upon the scene of the accident but then left, Schroeder said.
Officers spoke to one of the riders at the hospital but would like to learn more about the incident from the second rider, he said.
Scales is the eighth person to die in a traffic accident involving motorcycles so far this year, police said.