Several witnesses have questioned the police account of a fatal wreck that involved a 30-year-old motorcyclist over the weekend.
Da’Ron Miller’s motorcycle collided with a vehicle in the intersection of Madrid Drive and McCart Avenue just before 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Miller died about an hour later at a local hospital, according to a report from the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.
When asked by the Star-Telegram on Sunday what happened, police told a reporter that Miller was riding with a group of people who were speeding and that he crashed into the back of a vehicle and lost control.
A handful of people emailed and called the Star-Telegram to say that what they witnessed was different than what police released. More disputed the claims that Miller was speeding on social media.
Arquirre Wilson said he spoke with Miller just before the crash happened. He, Miller and a group of about 50 people were at the nearby Pep Boys for a charity motorcycle and car wash, Wilson said on Monday.
Miller, he said, pulled out of the parking lot and waved goodbye. Miller was riding alone, not with a group.
“He wasn’t speeding at all,” Wilson said. “He maybe got from where I was standing to maybe two or three hundred feet and the (driver of the vehicle) made a left right in front of him and he ran into the side of her.”
Wilson said the woman driving the vehicle was coming from the opposite direction and tried to cross over McCart Avenue.
Adrian Taylor, who also witnessed the collision, said the driver stopped in the middle of the intersection.
“(Miller) got off of the throttle,” Taylor said. “He tried to break and she stopped in the middle of the lane and he went to lay his bike on the ground and that’s when he hit the side of the vehicle. He ended up under the vehicle and it somehow knocked off his helmet and shows.”
Taylor and Wilson said that Miller hit the passenger side of the SUV near the passenger door, not the back of the vehicle.
Several people have said the woman was on her phone.
Wilson and Taylor said officers who went to the crash didn’t talk to them or others in their group, but they have both contacted the department’s traffic unit and are expecting to speak with an investigator.
On Facebook, Sandra Sanchez said she was also a witness and saw the driver turn left in front of Miller.
“Fort Worth PD had the chance to speak to witnesses at the scene, myself included, but they chose not to,” she wrote. “The lady driving turned left in front of the motorcyclist and he was not speeding!”
When asked on Monday if the accident report has changed since the release of information on Sunday, Sgt. Chris Britt said, “This case is still being investigated by our Traffic Investigation Unit. It appears that you are speaking to potential witnesses that have not spoken to our investigators. We ask that they contact us to provide details as to what they saw so it can be included in the investigation to provide a full and accurate account. The detective can be reached at 817-392-4888.”
The newspaper has also filed an open records request for the accident report.
About 10 minutes before the collision, Miller helped another motorcyclist who crashed just down the road, Wilson said.
“There was another guy, a Hispanic guy, who crashed before,” Wilson said. “We didn’t know him but we went out to help him.”
Another witness told the Star-Telegram in an email that a truck turned in front of that rider. Taylor said that man sustained minor injuries and road rash to his left forearm and hands.
After they helped that man, Wilson said that Miller left the bike wash event by himself. The group, the woman said, were still waiting for police to arrive about the first crash when Miller was killed.
“He was a good person,” Wilson said. “He was married, he has a kid. He worked. He was a family-oriented, good guy.”
“He didn’t do anything out of the normal,” Wilson said. “I just hate, that with this story, I just hate what’s happened. Right is right and wrong is wrong. If he was doing wrong, OK we’d say he was doing wrong. But he wasn’t going fast, he wasn’t acting crazy on the motorcycle.”