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High speed motorcycle chase reaches speeds of 121 MPH outside of Kanab

On the evening of May 17, just before midnight, a Kane County Sheriff’s Deputy clocked a passing motorcyclist going around 109 miles per hour as he passed milepost 39. The Deputy turned on his lights and sirens and moved to pursue the motorcycle and pull it over - in response, the driver increased his speed to avoid pursuit. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the individual in question reached speeds of around 121 miles per hour during the chase; citing the risks involved in a chase of that speed, as well as the low likelihood of a truck being able to overtake a motorcycle, the Deputy called ahead to Kanab Police to be prepared to intercept the speeding vehicle.

The S-turn near milepost 66 where the biker crashed. Photo by Ty Gant.

KCPD sent an officer to respond, and the officer positioned his vehicle with the lights on across the highway to slow traffic and potentially stop the oncoming motorcycle - according to the reports, the motorcyclist maneuvered around the patrol vehicle and proceeded into the town of Kanab, with both the KCSO and the KCPD in pursuit.

Around Milepost 66, near the S-turn by the dam across Kanab Creek, the motorcycle was still traveling at high speeds to avoid the pursuing law enforcement operators, at which point the motorcycle lost control around the turn and was laid out on its side. The motorcycle impacted the cliff wall, but by then its driver had come to a stop in the sand off the east side of the road. The Kanab Police Officer was able to detain the individual until the Sheriff’s Deputy arrived to arrest the driver and take him in. The driver had only minor scrapes and bruises from the fall, and refused medical treatment before his booking.

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According to the statement the driver made after his arrest, he claims he did not see the Sheriff’s Deputy’s lights come on, nor his attempts to pull him over. The driver confessed to noticing and attempting to avoid the police department’s patrol car, stating the choice was “a stupid decision made in the moment,” and that he “just didn’t want to deal with law enforcement.” According to the arresting deputy, incidents of drivers of so-called “bullet bikes” attempting to outrun authorities are becoming more common. “His license plate was bent all the way up under his fender, totally unreadable. It’s a quick indicator that they’re trying to avoid interacting with law enforcement - bullet bikes will bend those license plates until you can’t see them.”

The driver was charged with reckless driving, reckless endangerment and failure to respond to an officer’s signal to stop - a third degree felony offense. The individual in question is a Canadian citizen, from Alberta, which complicates the legal process to an extent, potentially involving extradition and trial in his home country. According to his statement, he had driven down from Canada to visit someone in Arizona and was hurrying home when the deputy flagged him.

Per the deputy who arrested him, the individual was, “dang lucky that’s all the injuries he came away with. That’s a risky crash.”

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