Cleves motorcyclist dies while passing traffic in emergency lane

The Wilmington Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a two-vehicle fatal crash that occurred on I-71 in the southeast corner of Greene County, about halfway between Cincinnati and Columbus.

On Tuesday around 6:55 p.m., a  2007 Honda CBR 1000 motorcycle driven by Paul Stafford,  age 23, of Cleves Ohio, was northbound on IR-71 traveling at a high rate of speed.

The patrol says Stafford passed several vehicles on the right side berm, then ran into the rear portion of a semi-truck trailer.  Stafford was ejected from the motorcycle.  Troopers arrived on scene moments after the crash and performed CPR, but all life- saving efforts were unsuccessful.  Stafford was pronounced dead at the scene by the Greene County Coroner.

The Patrol doesn't know which truck was hit by Stafford.  The truck kept going, and they say it's possible the driver never knew the truck was involved in a crash.

Stafford was wearing a helmet, and alcohol and drugs are not suspected.  The Patrol is asking any witnesses to contact the Wilmington Post (513-382-2551) with information.

Wilmington Assistant Post Commander, Sergeant C.A. Crisafi said "Crashes involving motorcycles in Ohio killed more than 500 people and injured more than 11,000 from 2009 to 2011.  Last year, there were 167 such fatalities."

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