Crime

Motorcyclist who died in crash was driving stolen bike, sheriff says

A motorcyclist who was speeding and driving a bike reported stolen earlier Wednesday died in a crash as a deputy attempted to stop the man, the sheriff said.

Neil Firm, 41, of Gulfport, died at the scene of massive blunt-force trauma, Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said Thursday.

The crash occurred about 5:30 p.m. at Houston Lander and Saucier Lizana roads.

A patrol officer had noticed a motorcycle rider who was not wearing a helmet speeding on Mississippi 53, Sheriff Troy Peterson said.

Deputy Ray Wescovich turned around and tried to stop the motorcycle, but as he was closing in, the driver crashed, he said.

Investigators learned the motorcycle had been reported stolen earlier Wednesday from Landon Road in Gulfport, Peterson said.

The crash is under investigation by an accident-reconstruction officer, he said.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol also is investigating.

SunHerald.com will update this when details become available.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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