By Paul P. Murphy, CNN
The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) will investigate what happened when a 13-year-old on a dirt bike died, purportedly as Boynton Beach Police attempted to stop him for reckless driving, the agency told CNN on Tuesday.
The incident occurred on Sunday, according to a Boynton Beach Police statement.
“Preliminary investigation indicates that the dirt bike operator was observed driving recklessly on Boynton Beach Boulevard,” the statement said. “Officers attempted a traffic stop, and the dirt bike went down in the 800 block of North Federal Highway.”
CNN affiliate WPTV spoke with the 13-year-old’s grandmother, Tina Hunter, who identified him as Stanley Davis, Jr.
Florida law requires the operator of a motorcycle to be 16 years old.
Boynton Beach Police Chief Michael Gregory told reporters at a news conference an internal affairs investigation is underway.
“I have not seen any evidence or heard any witness testimony that states that the officer’s vehicle came into contact with the dirt bike,” Gergory said.
Florida Highway Patrol spokesperson Lt. Yanko Reyes confirmed to CNN the state law enforcement agency will be the lead investigator. Reyes also confirmed the rider was wearing a helmet at the time of the incident.
An FHP news release said the 13-year-old “failed to maintain control of the vehicle and collided with the median curb.”
“After impact with the median curb, the driver was ejected from (the dirt bike) and collided with a one-way sign that was located in the median,” the news release said.
The Boynton Beach Police Department’s statement indicated the officer involved will be placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues.
“Our hearts go out to the family members of this young person, and they can trust that we and our law enforcement partners will be conducting a series of thorough and meticulous investigations into the circumstances of what occurred,” Gregory said in a statement to CNN.
CNN affiliate WPTV obtained surveillance footage, purportedly shortly from before the crash, which shows Davis filling up the dirt bike with gas at a gas station. As Davis leaves the gas station, the video appears to show a Boynton Beach Police SUV traveling behind him.
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