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: Authorities are investigating an incident in which a motorcyclist was thrown from his bike and killed in the carpool approach to the George Washington Bridge after being chased by local police.
Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli announced this afternoon that his office is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of 39-year-old Israel I. Curbelo of Ridgefield Park in the 4 a.m. crash “to ensure all proper Attorney General guidelines regarding police pursuits were followed.”
Minutes before the crash, “a uniformed patrol supervisor of the Ridgefield Park Police Department operating a marked patrol unit observed a motorcycle operating erratically north on Teaneck Road at Hobart Road,” Molinelli said.
The officer activated the vehicle’s overhead lights and sirens, he said, and the motorcycle “immediately drove onto a residential front lawn, then turned and re-entered Teaneck Road, traveling southbound.”
The pursuit continued onto Route 46 East, where a second Ridgefield Park cruiser joined in, the prosecutor said.
“In the vicinity of the George Washington Bridge, Curbelo drove onto the right shoulder of the bus/carpool lane leading to the upper level of the bridge in an effort to illegally pass another vehicle,” Molinelli said.
“In so doing, Curbelo struck the passenger side of this vehicle and lost control of the motorcycle resulting in him being ejected off of the motorcycle.
“He was pronounced dead at the scene.”
The chase from Ridgefield Park to the bridge in Fort Lee lasted all of four minutes, the prosecutor said.
“Officers at the scene detected the odor of alcohol from Curbelo during resuscitative efforts, and a small amount of what is believed to be marijuana was found on [him]“ Molinelli said.
An autopsy was conducted by the Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office, and toxicology results are pending, he said.
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