Alleged Motorcycle Thief Killed in Crash After Leading Authorities on High-Speed Chase

UPDATED: Several police agencies, including Bernards, involved in pursuit of stolen motorcycle.

A high-speed pursuit of a stolen motorcyle through several counties ended early Tuesday morning when the alleged thief was killed after crashing into the guardrail on the Interstate 287 northbound entrance ramp in Bedminster, state police said.

According to State Police in Somerville, the pursuit began on Interstate 78 in Newark and reached speeds up to 130 miles per hour before the fatal crash on I-287 North at 4:06 a.m. State police later said the stolen vehicle was a Suzuki motorcycle and identified the dead man as David F. Coleman, Jr., 23, of Maplewood.

Multiple police agencies, including officers from Bernards Township, were involved in the pursuit along I-78 westbound, state police said. No officers were injured, state police said.

In a report earlier during the day, the identity of the alleged thief had not yet been released, pending notification of next of kin.

The chase originated in Newark, and crossed police jurisdiction several times, state police said. The motorcycle driver exited and re-entered I-78 westbound at several points, police said.

Police reported that authorities aren't sure how fast the motorcyclist was traveling when he attempted to negotiate the turn on the ramp heading to I-287 northbound, and fatally crashed into the left guardrail. 

Police said the identity of the driver would not be released until next of kin are notified.


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