An investigation into the fatal motorcycle accident that resulted in the death of a Paterson resident last week is continuing, according to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.
Omar Stewart, 39, a city resident, was riding a motorcycle with three other bikes on Route 23 South on Saturday, August 24th, 2013, at around 7:39 p.m. when Darren Williams, a police officer from the Wayne Police Department, attempted to “initiate a motor vehicle stop of three motorcycles heading southbound on Route 23,” according to the prosecutor’s office.
While the officer was attempting to initiate the stop, the three riders sped down Route 23; “the three motorcycles fled from the officer at a high rate of speed on Route 23 South heading towards the exit ramp onto Route 80 East,” reads a statement from the prosecutor’s office. Williams lost sight of the three motorcycles.
“Moments later, as he pulled onto the Rt. 80 exit ramp, the officer saw two of the motorcycles on the ground and one of the drivers was lying in the center of the roadway,” according to the prosecutor’s office. The officer approached one of the downed bikes and attempted to provide help to the injured rider; the officer told the man “sit down and not to move.”
As the officer was helping Stewart, the second motorcycle, whose rider fell on the road, climbed onto his motorcycle, and fled the scene. Statement from the prosecutor’s office says, “At that time, the second motorcyclist at the scene got back onto one of the motorcycles which was still operational and fled the scene.”
Stewart was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 8:53 p.m. the same day. Detectives are still working to piece together what happened. The Wayne Police Department and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office are working in tandem to figure out what exactly happened on August 24th; it is unclear whether the two riders, whose bikes tumbled to the ground, lost control after speeding away from the officer.
Detectives are still looking for the second motorcyclist who got on his bike and fled the scene following the incident.