Firetrucks found

A high-speed pursuit involving a motorcyclist and several law enforcement agencies began Monday morning in Belton.

The motorcycle’s speed reached between 100 and 130 mph, according to scanner traffic.

The pursuit stopped once law enforcement agencies lost sight of the speeding cyclist, Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Dave Roberts told the Telegram.

City of Belton spokesman Paul Romer didn’t have much information other than the DPS chased the motorcycle into Belton from southbound Interstate 35, and the motorcycle took the exit for westbound Interstate 14.

The motorcyclist had a registration violation, which is why officers initially tried to stop him. However, he took off on the motorcycle and evaded arrest, which is a felony, Roberts said. 

The blue and white motorcycle had out-of-state license plates. It shot in and out between cars and trucks, weaving on the two busy sections of roadway.

The chase took the agencies through parts of Belton, Nolanville, Harker Heights and Killeen. Once in Killeen, the cyclist turned around and switched to eastbound I-14 before swerving onto Old Nolanville Road, scanner traffic said.

It was sometime after that the motorcycle managed to evade officers. It was believed he was headed back toward Nolanville or the Belton area.

“The roadways in question are built to accommodate the posted speeds,” Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Ken Roberts said. “Weather conditions and traffic can impact the speeds at which vehicles of all types can safely negotiate these facilities.”

When asked about the substandard safety practices of some motorcyclists, Ken Roberts said, “Narrow profile vehicles, such as motorcycles, are particularly vulnerable when motorists inadvertently overlook them traveling between lanes of traffic.”

However, when motorcyclists don’t obey traffic laws and put others in danger, Ken Roberts said, “At that point it becomes a law enforcement issue.”

In 2018, a total of 417 motorcyclists died on Texas roads, and 1,920 were seriously injured in crashes, according to TxDOT. Prior to that, 501 motorcyclists were killed in 2017, and more than 50 percent of them were not wearing helmets when the crash happened.

About one-third of motorcyclists killed in traffic were speeding and not obeying traffic safety regulations, according to TxDOT.