An attempted traffic stop over the weekend leads to the death of two motorcycle riders.
Joplin Police say the accident took place at 403 North Main Saturday around 8:45 p.m. The incident began when an officer with the Joplin Police Department attempted to conduct a traffic stop on two motorcycles for careless driving, including observing the motorcycles driving at approximately 80 miles per hour in a 30-mile per hour zone while northbound on Main Street from 15th Street. The officer pulled behind them at a red light at 10th and Main and attempted to conduct the stop. As the officer activated his emergency lights and siren, the two motorcycles fled from the officer at a high rate of speed. The officer deactivated his emergency equipment at 9th and Main and disregarded his attempt to stop the motorcycles. The two motorcycles continued to drive at a high rate of speed at approximately 80-100 mph in a 20-mph speed zone, running multiple red lights.
A few minutes later, JPD received a 911 report of a crash involving multiple motorcycles. Officers responded and found a debris field stretching a full city block. 20-year-old Taran Morris and 60-year-old Mark McGowen, both of Miami, were pronounced deceased at the scene. Preliminary investigations shows two fleeing motorcycles were involved in the crash along with a third motorcycle.
Morris and 18-year old Colten Goddard of Welch were the motorcyclists who fled from officers and continued to drive recklessly. Morris’ motorcycle collided with McGowen’s motorcycle as McGowen was turning south out of the Casey’s parking lot. Two counts of Murder in the 2nd degree are being sought against Goddard due to his actions that resulted in the death of the two other motorcyclists.
The investigation is ongoing.