EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

June 20, 2014

Motorcycle fatality under investigation

WINDHAM — An investigation is underway into the death of a motorcyclist on Interstate 93 South in a crash that closed the highway for over two hours.

Brian Ahern, 52, of Lowell, Mass. was riding his 2002 Harley Davidson XL1200 when his motorcycle apparently drifted off the road near Exit 3 and crashed. Ahern was pronounced dead on scene.

“Speed does not appear to be a factor, nor mechanical failure,” said Sgt. Paul Hunt, the assistant commander for State Police Troop B, which is investigating the crash. “The vehicle appeared to have drifted off the side of the road and rolled over. ... The motorcycle and he both just began tumbling on that grassy area near the road.”

Hunt said he did not know if Ahern was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and said investigators are waiting on blood work and other test results to give a more definitive cause.

Emergency responders were called to the scene just after midnight Thursday, where officers and firefighters found the motorcycle resting on its side in the high speed breakdown lane.

“That whole area’s under construction,” said Windham Fire Chief Tom McPherson. “It’s all paved, so I really don’t know what caused the biker to lose control.”

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) reported the highway’s closure at 12:04 a.m.

“The highway initially was fully closed southbound, then the left lane was open,” said NHDOT Public Information Officer Bill Boynton. “All lanes were reported reopened at 2:40 a.m.”

As police investigate the fatality, many are also working on keeping motorcyclists safe at Laconia Motorcycle week, which started Saturday and ends Sunday

While he could not confirm if Ahern was participating in Laconia Motorcycle Week, Executive Director Charlie St. Clair said that his death will be counted as a fatality during the week.

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