Two motorcyclists who were injured -- one fatally -- off Upper Mountain Road late Tuesday night apparently were trying to outrun police when they crashed, according to a statement by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office.
The crash, which occurred at 10:08 p.m. near 1500 Upper Mountain Road, killed Jeremy R. Carlstedt, 23, of Lockport, and injured David A. Zuppa, 24, also of Lockport.
Sheriff James Voutour said accident investigators were continuing to probe aspects of the crash late Wednesday, but confirmed that the two motorcyclists were being pursued by officers after allegedly operating recklessly on their bikes.
Carlstedt and Zuppa were traveling eastbound on Ridge Road near Indian Hill Road in a reckless fashion, when they passed an unmarked patrol vehicle.
The officer activated his emergency lights, but the two men "continued operating recklessly southbound on Indian Hill Road failing to yield to the patrol vehicle," according to the sheriff's statement.
The bikers then "made a sharp left turn" onto Upper Mountain Road, increasing their speed. That's when the pursuing officer "fell back, losing direct sight of both motorcycles," the sheriff stated. A short time later, the patrol officer came upon the crash scene.
Niagara County sheriff's deputies said Carlstedt and Zuppa failed to negotiate a curve in the road and struck a culvert.
Carlstedt was pronounced dead at the scene and Zuppa was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he was listed in fair condition late Wednesday.
Authorities reported that Zuppa later told police he and Carlstedt failed to stop because both were operating on suspended driver's licenses.
Investigators are asking anyone who may have been in the area at the time and observed the motorcycles to contact Capt. Michael Dunn or Capt. Michael Filicetti at 438-3393.
In June, two motorcyclists were killed after a group entered the Youngmann Memorial Highway at Delaware Avenue and began speeding, police said. A state trooper briefly turned on his flashing lights but abandoned the pursuit after the bikers hiked their speeds above 100 mph.