Young man dies in what was believed to be a motorcycle accident
It appears a 17-year-old man died Saturday morning after falling off a motorcycle on a dirt road, Schuylkill County Coroner Dr. David J. Moylan said.
Pottsville police are still investigating the case and the name of the victim and his hometown have not been released.
"I believe there's some parental notification needed yet," Moylan said Saturday.
The young man died between 2 and 9:25 a.m., when his body was discovered by Raymond D. Tropp, 71, of 200 Skidmore St., according to Tropp and Pottsville police.
The body was transported to Simon Kramer Cancer Institute, New Philadelphia, where Moylan conducted a virtual autopsy. It's a non-invasive procedure which allowed him to examine the body through 3D imagery provided by a CAT scan.
"He died as the result of blunt-force trauma. I think the kid was driving a dirt bike and fell off," Moylan said.
Blood samples were sent to NMS Labs in Willow Grove, Moylan said.
"I'd say we should have the results in a week," Moylan said.
"The investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident is ongoing," police said in a news release issued at 1:37 p.m.
When Tropp found the body at 9:25 a.m., he and his wife weren't sure the young man died as a result of a motorcycle accident.
"I don't think it was an accident. There's no skid marks. He had no scrapes on him or anything," said Tropp's wife, Luanne, 52.
"It appears to be a one-vehicle accident at this point; however, the exact cause of death is pending the autopsy results," police Capt. Richard J. Wojciechowsky said at the scene at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Tropp is the president of Tropp Contracting Co. Excavating & Paving. Near his home, he has a gated storage lot for trucks and equipment. And he said every morning, he walks through there to do a security check.
"I always check my yard to make sure everything's all right," Tropp said.
There are two gates to Tropp's fenced-in area. The first is near his home. The second is bordering the dirt road. Tropp said the body was about 15 feet from his property line.
"I looked down and saw him laying there. His whole face was pushed into the dirt," Tropp said.
Tropp said the body was face down just off his property on a dirt road.
That stretch of Atkins Street is owned by Fanelli Limited Partnership I, according to the online Schuylkill Parcel Locator.
"So I hollered at him. I said 'Hey you! Move!' And he didn't move. So I walked out. And he looked dead. So I called 911," Tropp said.
The motorcycle was about 30 feet from the body, Tropp said.
"I didn't see the bike until the police arrived," Tropp said.
It was a red and white Honda CR125 off-road motorcycle and accented with a number, 25, in white letters on a black sign.
The motorcycle didn't look like it was in an accident, Tropp said.
"That bike is in perfect condition. The plastic on it isn't even scratched. Maybe the kid laid the bike down, then started walking and fell over. The people I see racing back here have helmets on. And he had nothing," Tropp said.
Tropp said dirt bike and all-terrain vehicle riders use the area behind his home frequently.
"They ride up and down here late at night, sometimes at 1:30 in the morning," he said.