Almost three days after a motorcyclist survived a high-speed crash on the interstate, investigators still have not found the man.
Arizona Department of Public Safety detectives are still trying to locate Chandler resident Antonio Edward Sutherland, 43. He was headed toward Tucson late Wednesday night when he rear-ended a sedan. The motorcycle was demolished, but Sutherland apparently walked away from the crash, said Officer Raul Molina, spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
An investigative witness two miles from the crash site told officers the rider, later identified as Sutherland, was on foot when he asked to borrow a cellphone about an hour after the collision, Molina said.
After allowing the man to use the phone, the witness called police. By the time officers from the Marana Police Department arrived, the motorcyclist was gone.
“Eventually, through investigation, the rider was identified,” Molina said, but “we don’t have any extent of injuries. Internal injuries can run you down. Our biggest concern is we want to find him and make sure he’s received medical care.
“This is a first for me,” Molina said. “In 29 years, I’ve never seen such a case, that a person walked away and wandered off.”
Drivers who witnessed the crash Wednesday night told investigators the motorcyclist was weaving in and out of traffic, driving “very recklessly” and traveling in excess of the 75 mph speed limit just before 10 p.m. when he pulled into the center lane and rear-ended a sedan, Molina said.
The crash occurred in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 between the Marana Road and Tangerine Road exits.
Witnesses said the rider was thrown from the motorcycle and four vehicles ran over the bike, demolishing it and damaging the cars.
When emergency crews arrived on the scene, however, they could find no sign of the motorcycle rider.
Traffic was diverted off the freeway for five hours while first responders from multiple agencies searched for the motorcyclist, said Capt. Adam Goldberg, spokesman for the Northwest Fire District.
At daybreak, investigators returned to the scene to continue the search, then learned from the Marana Police Department that the rider had survived the crash and had left the scene hours earlier.
A DPS official would not confirm whether the man they are looking for is the same Antonio Edward Sutherland who served more than three years in prison for aggravated DUI and aggravated assault.