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Tioga County man killed in motorcycle crash going wrong way in Town of Elmira

(Town of Elmira) – The operator of the motorcycle, identified as 36-year old JAMES B. THIGPEN, of Spencer, NY, was ejected from the motorcycle and pronounced deceased at the scene.

The Chemung County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into a fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred on West Water Street in the Town of Elmira.
On December 19, about 7:43 PM, a Deputy from the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office was patrolling State Route 352, in the Town of Elmira and observed a 2018 Honda motorcycle traveling east into the Town of Elmira at a high rate of speed.

The Deputy followed the motorcycle east on West Water Street and learned that the motorcycle had been previously reported stolen out of the City of Ithaca. The Deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop with the motorcycle near the City of Elmira, Town of Elmira jurisdictional line. The motorcycle slowed to a near stop before turning around and traveling at a high rate of speed west on West Water Street, against the flow of one-way roadway traffic. The Deputy did not pursue the motorcycle and radioed the Communications Center, advising them that the motorcycle had fled the stop.

The motorcycle continued west on W. Water Street and struck a 2016 Ford Fusion being operated east on West Water Street, near the intersection of Larchmont Avenue. The operator of the motorcycle, identified as 36-year old JAMES B. THIGPEN, of Spencer, NY was ejected from the motorcycle and was pronounced deceased at the scene. The operator of the Ford Fusion only sustained minor injuries as a result of the collision.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the West Elmira Police Department, New York State Police, West Elmira Fire Department, and Erway Ambulance.

We are asking anyone who may have seen the motorcyclist traveling west on East Water Street between Demarest Parkway and Larchmont Road to please contact the Criminal Investigation Division at 607-737-2933. We believe the motorcyclist passed at least two vehicles while traveling in the wrong direction.