Police Serious Crime Unit (SCU) Detective Jason Smith disclosed today that a high speed motorcycle chase led to the death of Bermuda’s ninth road traffic fatality victim Travis Lowe.

The 23-year-old sustained serious head injuries when his motorcycle struck a van at approximately 3:20 pm, on Tuesday July 26th, 2016, on Horsehoe Road, Southampton, just east of the junction with Palm Valley Road. The young father of two later succumbed to his injuries last on August 2nd.

Speaking at a news conference today, Acting Detective Inspector Smith appealed for possible witnesses with videotaped evidence to come forward. Calling the circumstances surrounding the road traffic death of Travis Lowe, as “very suspicious”, Mr Smith said the evidence indicates that Mr Lowe was being chased, and the fatal collision resulted “as he tried to evade his pursuer”, and “only one pursuer is suspected”.

He issued a special appeal to area residents with their own CCTV cameras, and people who were in the Horseshoe Road area who may have recorded the chase on their personal devices to come forward with that video.

“This collision is not like other collisions as the circumstances surrounding this collision are very suspicious and a criminal investigation has commenced,” said Mr Smith. “There is evidence that Travis Lowe was being chased by another motorcyclist along Horseshoe Road and in his attempt to get away from his chaser collided with the van in question.

“There is also evidence that the chase travelled west along Horsehoe Road, onto South Road, turned left and headed in easterly direction, through the Southampton Rangers sports club and back onto Horsehoe Road in an easterly direction. The bikes were travelling at a high rate of speed, in an erratic manner that caused oncoming traffic, in particular at South Road and Horsehoe Road junction with Rangers Sports Club to take evasive action to avoid colliding with these cycles,” he added.

Police are now appealing to motorists and onlookers who “were at this particular junction” who are now “of interest to the police investigation” to come forward. “Additionally, we are appealing to the members of our community that were on Horsehoe Road and witnessed the chase to also contact us,” said Mr Smith.

“We are aware that some persons that live in the Horsehoe Road community may have CCTV cameras at their residences. We would also like to hear from you. Finally, we are aware that persons living in the Horsehoe Road community may have recorded the chase; we would like to hear from you as well.

“Travis Lowe leaves two young children behind, family and friends that will never see him again. The circumstances surrounding his death are very unfortunate and his life did not have to end this way. Any information that you have that can assist the police in this investigation will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

“We are calling on our community to be bold, courageous and help bring closure to Travis Lowe’s family.”

A 20-year-old man was formally charged with manslaughter in connection with this case in Magistrates’ Court on Monday. Kethyio Whitehurst, was not required to enter a plea to the indictable offence, which will go to the Supreme Court.

He was granted $30,000 bail with one surety, by Magistrate Khamisi Tokumbo, who ordered him to report to the Police Station three times a week. He is due to appear during the next monthly arraignment session in September.

By Ceola Wilson