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Police tried to ‘overtake’ motorcyclist before fatal crash

By Steve Huffman
Salisbury Post
CLEVELAND ó Cleveland police say there were attempting to “overtake” a motorcyclist who was killed in an accident early Sunday.
Police Chief David Allen wouldn’t classify the incident as a pursuit. He released a three-paragraph news release about the accident and had little else to say about the matter Tuesday.
William Michael Scott, 32, of 403 E. Main St., was pronounced dead at the scene following the 1:26 a.m. accident.
According to the news release, Cleveland officers were conducting a license check at the intersection of U.S. 70 and Old U.S. 70 when Scott approached from the east aboard a 2006 Suzuki.
Police say he turned onto Old U.S. 70 and accelerated in an apparent attempt to avoid the checkpoint. Cleveland Police Officer J. Allred got into his marked patrol car and followed.
The motorcycle turned north onto Glenn Foust Road, traveling toward Third Creek Church Road. Allen said Allred was about a quarter-mile behind Scott when the motorcycle ran off the road and crashed at the intersection of Glenn Foust and Third Creek Church roads.
The scene of the accident is about a mile from the site of the license checkpoint. Scott was thrown from the motorcycle, the bike ending up on a house at 4125 Third Creek Church Road.
Allen said no one was home at the time of the accident, but said he didn’t think the house was empty as a N.C. Highway Patrol trooper said.
Trooper R.T. Coward, the investigating officer, estimated that Scott’s motorcycle was traveling 100 mph at the time of the accident.
A woman who identified herself as a member of the Scott family called the Post Tuesday. She declined to give her name.
She said Scott had two young girls and was a hard worker. She said family members have questioned police about events that preceded Sunday’s accident.
“Nobody really knows what happened,” the woman said. “Nobody knows why he turned around.”
She said the family thinks, “At some point the police should have backed off on the pursuit.”
But she also conceded, “It’s an unfortunate thing for both ends,” referring to the Scott family and the police.
Contact Steve Huffman at 704-797-4222 or shuffman@salisburypost.com.

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