Crime

Police say Ga. man killed in motorcycle crash was riding stolen bike

The Georgia man who died in a motorcycle crash on Friday in the North Myrtle Beach area was riding a stolen motorcycle that police attempted to stop before the crash, authorities said Tuesday.

Ed Daniel Leatherwood, 38, of Rex, Ga., died after he ran a red light about 3 p.m. Friday, on a 2008 Honda motorcycle and hit an aluminum boat towed by a pick-up truck, Horry County police Lt. Raul Denis said at the time of the crash. The driver of the truck was making a left turn into a drive near Barefoot Landing.

Leatherwood, who was not wearing a helmet, died from injuries suffered in the crash, said Horry County Deputy Coroner Michelle McSpadden.

South Carolina law requires anyone under 21 to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.

Cpl. Sonny Collins with the S.C. Highway Patrol, which investigated the crash, said no charges will be filed in the incident.

The crash briefly shut down southbound traffic on U.S. 17 Friday, Denis said.

On Tuesday, North Myrtle Beach authorities released an incident report that showed a patrol officer initiated a traffic stop on the motorcycle driven by Leatherwood for improper display of its license plate.

But the driver sped away, so the officer stopped and deactivated his emergency equipment, according to the report.

Before the motorcycle sped away, the officer noted that Leatherwood pointed to a parking lot and his passenger, a 30-year-old woman from Decatur, Ga., got off the motorcycle while it was briefly stopped at another traffic light.

The patrol officer and witnesses reported that Leatherwood sped up, “possibly splitting traffic” before the crash, according to the report. Leatherwood struck the boat and was thrown about 100 feet from the crash.

Leatherwood was taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center where he died, according to the report. During the investigation, officials checked the vehicle identification number of the motorcycle and learned it was reported stolen from Alabama.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or on Twitter @tonyaroot.

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