A motorcyclist who died in a collision with a school bus last week was fleeing law enforcement.
On January 29th, at around four p.m., two Bartow County deputies patrolled Clubview Drive at Country Club Drive in Cartersville. They observed a sports bike traveling south on Clubview Drive, with 26-year-old Demario Calhoun of Canton standing on the footpegs.
The deputies noticed that Calhoun’s Kawasaki Ninja had no license plate, so they followed him to a red light on Country Club Drive at Joe Frank Harris Parkway.
Calhoun reportedly turned right to travel north on Joe Frank Harris Parkway and allegedly hit 100 miles per hour in a 45-mile per-hour zone. The deputies activated the flashing blue lights and siren and began following Calhoun. Calhoun then turned right to travel east on Grassdale Road at alleged speeds of about 120 miles per hour in a 45-mile-per-hour zone.
Calhoun then reportedly stopped at the light at Gilreath Road before turning right and going between 80 to 90 miles per hour in a 35-mile-per-hour zone. The deputies say they lost sight of Calhoun due to a hillcrest. When they topped the hill, they observed a school bus turning off Sunrise Drive onto Gilreath Road, so they reportedly discontinued the pursuit.
According to crash debris and witness statements, the Georgia State Patrol investigation yields that while trying to evade Bartow County deputies, Calhoun was driving recklessly and speeding approaching Peeples Valley Road when he attempted to pass a Bartow County school bus in a no-passing zone, resulting in the right side of the motorcycle striking the front left side of the bus. The force of the impact reportedly caused Calhoun to lose control and travel off the north shoulder of Gilreath Road.
A citizen reportedly flagged down the deputies and pointed toward the woods.
They found Calhoun lying on his back with his helmet next to him, profusely bleeding from his ears, nose, and mouth, and called for EMS. One of the deputies then touched Calhoun’s carotid artery and did not feel a pulse. EMS aided Calhoun and took him to a hospital, where staff pronounced him dead.
Neither the bus driver nor the five high school students on the bus were injured, and there was minimal damage to the bus. Students on the bus were either released to parents at the scene or Bartow County School Police transported them home.