At approximately 5:20 PM on Saturday June 4, Officer Mark Panzano of the Hopewell Township Police Department was southbound along Bear Tavern Road near Pennington Titusville Road. Officer Panzano observed four motorcycles traveling north along Bear Tavern Road at 66 mph. The posted speed limit is 45 mph. Officer Panzano turned around and attempted to catch up to the motorcycles.
After Officer Panzano activated his emergency lights and siren in an attempt to stop the motorcycles, the motorcyclists increased their speed and began to pass other motor vehicles along the roadway. Officer Panzano lost sight of the motorcycles as they proceeded towards Harbourton Rocktown Road. As Officer Panzano continued northbound, he found that two of the motorcycles had left the roadway and crashed just south of Harbourton Mt. Airy Road.
A 1998 Kawasaki motorcycle, driven by 21 year old Raimy D. Valdez (Lynns Court Morrisville, PA), crashed into a wooden post and rail fence. Mr. Valdez was uninjured. Mr. Valdez was placed under arrest and charged with eluding a police officer, speeding, passing over a double yellow line and reckless driving. Mr. Valdez remains in police custody at this time.
A 2009 Kawasaki motorcycle, driven by a 21 year old Trenton man (family notification pending), crashed into a mailbox and a small tree causing serious injury. The man was transported to a local hospital by the Union Fire Company and Rescue Squad and Capital Health paramedics where he is undergoing treatment. Charges are pending further investigation.
Harbourton Rocktown Road between Harbourton Mt. Airy Road and Harbourton Pleasant Valley Road was blocked for three hours during this investigation.
The crash remains under investigation by Officer James Hoffman, Detective Louis Vastola, and Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Don Santora.