Man Dies in Motorcycle Crash; Body Not Discovered Until Next Day

It sounds like something from one of those prime time crime procedurals: A man dies in a motorcycle crash, the police show up on the scene and find the crashed bike, but nobody finds his body until a family member discovers it the following morning.

But this isn’t the plot to a CSI episode, it actually happened in Salt Lake City, Utah on July 30, 2011.

Police discovered the crashed bike near 1900 West and Hinckley Drive. There was minimal damage to the bike and no driver. They saw a pedestrian walking some distance away and assumed that he was the driver, but they lost track of the guy and never questioned him.

Fast forward to Sunday morning when Rick Stokes had a strong feeling that something was wrong and went to the crash site. He found his son Nolan’s body by the side of the road 1,000 feet from where police discovered the bike.

In reference to the responders not finding Stoke’s body the night of the crash, Greg Whinham, the Chief of Police, said:

“What tools are out there that are reasonable for us to be able to bring in? Is it reasonable to have brought in a helicopter with infrared sensing?”

Maybe not. But why didn’t police catch and talk to the mystery pedestrian? How far did they search for a rider – or did they search at all? Since they thought they saw the driver walking, and the bike had so little damage, it’s possible that they assumed it wasn’t a serious accident. Maybe they figured they would just issue a citation, impound the bike and deal with the driver when he came to pay the ticket.

The one saving grace in all this is that it appears that Stokes died instantly, which means he wasn’t lying there dying while the police neglected to find him.

Metier Law Firm – Denver Accident Attorney

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