Haley injured when motorcycle chase on
By Carrie A. Mizell
A chase that reached speeds of over 110 mph and involved a sheriff’s deputy pursuing two 2007 Trenton High School graduates on motorcycles ended suddenly in downtown Newberry when one motorcyclist crashed into the back of an SUV.
Brice Edward Haley, 21, suffered incapacitating injuries when he was thrown off the motorcycle he was riding after it collided with a 2004 GMC SUV driven by Melissa K. Boyer of Newberry at 9:52 p.m. on Saturday.
According to the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office, Cpl. Kenneth Phillips was parked at the intersection of SR 26 and SE 70th Avenue near the Ma-N-Pa’s Express in Waccasassa when he clocked two dark motorcycles driving east on SR 26. Phillips clocked the motorcycles at 79 mph in a posted 50 mph zone and therefore pulled out after the motorcycles, turned on his lights and attempted to make a traffic stop based on their speed.
“Once I activated my overhead emergency lights and siren the motorcycles began to speed up,” Phillips stated in his sworn complaint on the incident.
At 9:50 p.m. Phillips notified dispatchers at the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office that he was involved in a traffic pursuit on the two motorcycles. At that point the motorcyles were heading east on SR 26 towards Newberry and had just crossed over into Alachua County.
“As this was happening the motorcycles were passing other vehicles on both sides of the road,” Phillips further stated. “They also passed a vehicle on the right side of the road at SR 26 and CR 337 inside Alachua County. The speed I was going was about 110 mph and I was about 350 to 400 yards behind them.”
According to Phillips, the chase slowed down as the motorcyclists entered the Newberry city limits and he was able to get within 250 to 300 yards of the motorcycles, but both motorcyclists were still fleeing from him up until Haley crashed the motorcycle he was driving.
While Haley suffered serious injuries in the accident, the driver of the SUV, Melissa K. Boyer was uninjured. Boyer’s daughter, who was a passenger in the SUV at the time of the accident was also uninjured.
After witnessing the accident, Phillips called in the crash to dispatch and reportedly asked that a medical unit be called to the scene as soon as possible.
Deputies from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office stopped the driver of the first motorcycle, Joshua S. Thompson in Jonesville.
“They told me that they read him his Miranda Rights and he confessed to fleeing from me,” Phillips stated. “Thompson told us who the driver of the second motorcycle was at that time.”
Phillips stated to Florida Highway Patrol Trooper S.L. Levy when she arrived on scene that he would be charging Haley with Fleeing or attempting to elude, Not having a motorcyle endorsement, as well as, a traffic citation for speeding 79 mph in a posted 50 mph zone.
According to Phillips, a sworn complaint was also written up on Thompson for Fleeing or attempting to elude.
Newberry Fire Rescue responded to the dispatch call for assistance and prepared Haley for transport to Shands Hospital. At press time, the Gilchrist County Journal had learned that Haley underwent surgery and had suffered non-life threatening injuries in the accident, which included a broken nose.
Further charges are pending results of a blood/alcohol test that was performed at the hospital.
According to Trooper S.L. Levy’s report, Haley was wearing a helmet when the accident occured.