Cedar Rapids motorcyclist dies in crash after chase

Speeds in chase topped 100 mph; sheriff says it appears chase followed policy

Investigators work Sunday night at the scene of a fatal crash near the intersection of Highway 100 and Menard Lane in Ma
Investigators work Sunday night at the scene of a fatal crash near the intersection of Highway 100 and Menard Lane in Marion. The crash came at the end of a high-speed chase. (image taken from KCRG-TV9 video)

MARION — A motorcyclist has died after a high-speed police chase Sunday evening on the edge of Marion.

Andrew S. Lown, 26, of Cedar Rapids, was killed when the motorcycle he was driving crashed into a cornfield around 11 p.m. on Highway 100 near Menard Lane, according to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities said Lown topped 100 mph in the westbound lanes before he lost control and crashed.

Deputies originally tried to stop Lown for speeding near the corner of Highways 13 and 100, but he turned west and sped away, authorities said.

Sheriff Brian Gardner said the brake light on the motorcycle went out near South 22nd Street, making it difficult for the deputy to keep track of the bike. He said light from the headlight indicated to the deputy that the bike had crossed the eastbound lanes and had gone into the south ditch across from Menards.

Lown was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a helmet, which is legal in Iowa.

The three-mile police chase was at least the third in four days involving a motorcycle in the metro area. Cedar Rapids police were involved in two chases with motorcycles Thursday. All of the chases ended in crashes.

Gardner said officers are trained to use their discretion when determining whether to engage in a vehicle pursuit, based on the location, time of day, traffic levels and road conditions. He said Sunday’s chase happened late at night, when traffic was light, and occurred on a four-lane divided highway.

“From what I can tell, in reviewing the reports and also the video of the incident, I don’t have a problem with him making the determination to pursue the motorcycle,” Gardner said. “I don’t see anything that would have violated any policy.”[mqMap key="4uAl" width="485" height="420" src=",-91.60895789947509&projection=sm&showScale=false"]My New Map[/mqMap]

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