CLEARWATER, Florida -- An attorney claims video he obtained shows a Clearwater police officer violated department policy by chasing a motorcycle driver who died in a crash on February 20, 2013.
The incident took place in the eastbound lanes in the Courtney Campbell Causeway.
Keith Williamson was speeding on the bridge in excess of 120 miles per hour when he slammed into an FHP cruiser that was providing protection for nighttime construction crews on the bridge.
"Had to be in excess of 120, as fast as I've seen anybody go across the causeway," said Mark Blanchard, who said he saw the incident the night of the crash.
The officer claimed in his report that he tried to pull Williamson over, but when the 27-year-old would not stop, he stopped the chase. But dashcam video released by the attorney for Williamson's parents, John Trevena, tells a very different story about what happened that night. The video show what appears to be the officer following Williamson at a high rate of speed before the officer turned off the camera -- moments before the motorcyclist hit the FHP cruiser.
"There were three bikes there. The police officer was probably no more than 15 yard behind them at an extremely high rate of speed. There was no other, when I saw them, there was no other cars in front of them," said Mark Blanchard.
Clearwater police spokesperson Elizabeth Watts released a statement regarding the release of the tape on Saturday:
"We will not discuss part of an active investigation, especially one that is being conducted by another agency. We review all fleeing and eluding incident reports. We will do the same with this case --as well as the video -- and if it is determined there are any policy violations or inappropriate actions it will be addressed accordingly. This information will not be available until the conclusion of FHP's investigation. I appreciate your understanding and patience."