A 39-year-old motorcyclist died in a crash early Tuesday morning after speeding up to flee from a police officer who activated his emergency lights, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Police said Sgt. J.P. Morgan was patrolling the area near Atlantic Boulevard and Philips Highway about 1 a.m. when he saw a motorcyclist eastbound on Atlantic. Police said Morgan recognized the man as John Blunt and knew he had a suspended driver's license.
Morgan activated his emergency lights to attempt a traffic stop, and Blunt immediately accelerated at a high speed, estimated at more than 100 mph, police said. They said he continued eastbound on Atlantic, and Morgan immediately deactivated his emergency lights and notified the JSO Police Emergency Communications Office that he was canceling the traffic stop because of the man fleeing.
The motorcycle was last seen attempting to turn south onto Spring Park Road. Police said Blunt failed to negotiate the corner and exited the southeast corner of the intersection. Blunt's motorcycle struck the rear of a parked U-Haul truck, police said.
Blunt was taken to a hospital, where he died. Police said he was not wearing a helmet.
Police said their investigation is ongoing. They said there was no active pursuit at the time of the crash.