Two motorcyclists killed in crash identified

Sep. 3—Two people were killed Saturday night in a multiple-vehicle crash involving three motorcycles, according to the Joplin Police Department.

Those killed have been identified as Taran Morris, 20, of Miami, Oklahoma, and Mark A. McGowen, 60, also of Miami, Oklahoma.

Just before 9 p.m. Saturday, Joplin police tried to conduct a traffic stop on two motorcycles for careless driving, one driven by Morris, the other allegedly driven by Colten F. Goddard, 18, of Welch, Oklahoma, according to a news release from the police department. Police observed the motorcycles driving at approximately 80 mph in a 30-mph speed zone on Main Street north from 15th Street, the release said.

As an officer pulled behind them and turned on his emergency lights and siren, the two motorcycles drove off, the release said. The officer allegedly saw the vehicles run multiple red lights at a high rate of speed, police said, but the officer broke off the chase.

A few minutes later, police received a 911 report of a crash near the 400 block of North Main Street. Upon arrival, police found a debris field that stretched for a full city block, according to the release, and determined that the two motorcycles plus a third were involved in the crash.

A preliminary investigation suggests that the two fleeing motorcycles were northbound on Main Street at a high rate of speed when one of them collided with the third motorcyclist who was leaving Casey’s General Store.

Goddard was not injured.

Two counts of second-degree murder are being sought by police, according to the release, and a probable-cause affidavit for the charges has been submitted to the Jasper County prosecutor’s office.

The investigation is ongoing, police said.

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