Police: Man dies after crashing ATV, hitting building on west side

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — A man died late Wednesday night on Detroit's west side after hitting a curb on his ATV, then hitting a building, police said.

The fatal crash took place about 9:55 p.m. on Grand River at Burt.

Police say the driver, 38, lost control of the vehicle.

Medics took the man to a hospital, but he died from his injuries.

The fatal crash comes a day after police seized two ATVs and two motor bikes on the city's east side. Police learned of an ATV party through a flier posted on social media, and broke up the gathering by handing out 17 ordinance violations and making one arrest, of a man who had "multiple" traffic warrants, said Officer Holly Lance, a Detroit Police Department spokeswoman. 

"ATVs are not built for driving on the pavement," Lance said.

On Wednesday, Police Chief James Craig said there has been a "total disrespect for law" among some ATV users, who have been taunting police, believing that they won't be chased.

"People think, 'we'll run, and they're not going to chase us,'" Craig said. "That's not how it's going to work."

While Craig admitted that "chasing them doesn't work," and that police wouldn't endanger lives to conduct a chase, he said "we do have the technology to find you," adding that social media is just one tool among many.

"Yes, we have eyes in the sky," Craig said. "You can't outrun eyes in the sky, or radio."

Earlier this month, Mark Bessner, a former Michigan State Police trooper, was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison for using a Taser on 15-year-old Damon Grimes as he rode an ATV on the city's east side in August 2017. A jury found Bessner, who had by that point resigned from the state police, guilty of involuntary manslaughter in that incident.

Michigan State Police limited their pursuits in Detroit as a result.