St. Clair Shores — Michigan State Police have released details of the fatal crash of a motorcycle rider who was fleeing police on May 24.
According to police, St. Clair Shores resident James Morris Freeman III, 33, slammed into the side of a vehicle at the intersection of Gratiot and Toepfer and died at the scene.
The incident began at about 3:45 p.m. when troopers from the Metro Post attempted to stop a 1996 Suzuki motorcycle for reckless driving on westbound Interstate 94 near 10 Mile.
According to the police report, the driver looked back at the patrol vehicle in his mirror and then attempted to flee by maneuvering between other vehicles stopped at a red light.
The driver disregarded the red light and fled at a high rate of speed on westbound 10 Mile. The pursuit continued on 10 Mile for about two miles and then onto Gratiot.
During the pursuit, police determined the registered owner of the motorcycle had an active felony warrant for felony obstruction of police out of the 38th District Court in Eastpointe.
The pursuit continued southbound on Gratiot with the suspected reportedly accelerating away from the patrol vehicle — located about 150 to 200 yards behind the motorcycle — at a high rate of speed.
As the motorcycle approached Toepfer, the traffic light changed from green to red and the driver crashed broadside into another vehicle.
Arriving troopers managed to grab Freeman by the legs and pull him away from a spreading pool of burning gasoline. A .22 caliber pistol was found on Freeman, who was pronounced at the scene.
According to police, Freeman was not wearing a helmet. The driver and passenger of the second vehicle were uninjured.