Two found dead six hours after Stratham motorcycle crash on Route 101
STRATHAM - Two people were found dead Tuesday morning by a passing motorist who came across a motorcycle accident on the side of Route 101 that police said happened about six hours earlier.
The male operator and his female passenger were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash in the westbound lane about a half-mile east of Exit 10, according to state police Capt. John LeLacheur.
The accident was discovered just before 6:30 a.m. - six hours after a state trooper running radar clocked a motorcyclist traveling at 119 mph on Route 101 two miles east in Exeter, LeLacheur said. Police are determining whether that was the bike that crashed.
The motorcyclist was going so fast that the trooper never tried to pursue it when it was spotted around 12:30 a.m., LeLacheur said. Neither the trooper nor other motorists noticed the motorcycle just off the highway when they passed through the area after the crash. Police said this morning they believe the crashed motorcycle and the one clocked on radar are the same.
'What happened was as the sun came up a person reported a motorcycle lying on the side of the road. When the first trooper got here he found there was a double fatality, two occupants on one motorcycle,' LeLacheur said.
LeLacheur said the trooper tried to keep a visual on the motorcycle, but after he drove 100 yards realized that the bike was already out of sight.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation, but speed is believed to be a factor, LeLacheur said.
Pieces of the Yamaha motorcycle were found strewn in the grass along the side of the westbound lanes. LeLacheur said.
The motorcyclist first struck a small road sign and then hit a larger sign for Exit 10 a short distance away. LeLacheur said the female passenger was thrown off the motorcycle while the male operator remained with it until it crashed.
'Her injuries were extremely devastating,' he said.
The accident disrupted the morning commute for nearly four hours as Route 101 westbound was reduced to one lane. Police cleared the accident scene just after 10 a.m.
The names of the two killed have not been released.