Motorcyclist crashes into tree, dies after police chase

SWEET HOME, Ore. -- A man crashed his motorcycle into a tree and died Friday night shortly after fleeing police near the Sweet Home Jamboree.

Officials said that an Albany Police Officer tried stopping a Ducati motorcycle at around 10:20 p.m. Friday for a traffic violation near 15th and Long Street.

The motorcyclist, later identified as Lance Hawken, 42 of Sweet Home, sped off along 8th Avenue. The Albany Police officer lost sight of the motorcyclist and called off the chase, state officials said.

Police dispatchers received a 911 call a short time later reporting that a motorcycle had crashed into a tree in front of a home on 8th Avenue.

Crash investigators later found that Hawken had missed a curve in the road near Birch Street, lost control of his Ducati motorcycle and hit a tree.

Emergency responders pronounced Hawken dead at the scene. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Officials said that speed played a part in the crash.