Motorcyclist Killed Following Police Chase

By Jeff Raasch, Reporter

MARION, Iowa – A motorcyclist has died following 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 corn field 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 Highway 13 and Highway 100. It initially appeared the motorcyclist was going to stop, but then the driver turned west and sped away, authorities said.

Sheriff Brian Gardner said the brake light on the motorcycle went out near South 22nd Street, either because it was turned off or because it malfunctioned, 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, although Iowa law does not require motorcyclists to wear them.

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 noted that 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."
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