Motorcyclist killed in West Elmira crash, previously involved in police chase

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February 04 2022 08:00 am

WEST ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – One person has died after Sunday evening’s motorcycle crash on W. Water Street and Larchmont Road in West Elmira.

According to the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office, 36-year-old James Thigpen of Spencer was pronounced dead at the scene after hitting a vehicle and being ejected from the motorcycle.

18 News was on the scene as CPR was being performed on Thigpen for approximately 10 minutes Sunday evening.

According to the Sheriff’s Office at about 7:43 PM, a Deputy from the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office was patrolling State Route 352, in the Town of Elmira area, and observed a 2018 Honda motorcycle traveling east, coming into the Town of Elmira at a high rate of speed.

The Deputy followed the motorcycle east on W. Water Street and learned that the motorcycle had been previously reported stolen out of the City of Ithaca. The Deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop with the motorcycle near the City of Elmira, Town of Elmira jurisdictional line. The motorcycle slowed to a near stop before turning around and traveling at a high rate of speed west on W. Water Street, against the flow of one-way roadway traffic.

The Deputy did not pursue the motorcycle and radioed the Communications Center, advising them that the motorcycle had fled the stop. The motorcycle continued west on W. Water Street and fatally struck a 2016 Ford Fusion being operated east on W. Water Street.

The operator of the Ford Fusion only sustained minor injuries as a result of the collision.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the West Elmira Police Department, New York State Police, West Elmira Fire Department, and Erway Ambulance.

The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who may have seen the motorcyclist traveling west on East Water
St. between Demarest Parkway and Larchmont Road to please contact the Criminal Investigation Division at 607-737-2933.

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