Friend: Motorcyclist killed in crash knew of dangers

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on September 7, 2010 at 10:12 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 8 at 11:44 AM

Poll:
Should police be more aggressive in dealing with motorcyclists who are breaking the law?

DALLAS — A motorcycle ride went from dangerous to deadly on the Dallas North Tollway Monday night — moments after officers elected not to pursue the group of bikers.

News 8 obtained video showing 22-year-old Preston Cass crashing into the back of a pickup truck; then hitting a wall.

So can one biker's death save other lives in North Texas?

A friend told News 8 that Cass and his friends started "stunting" more than a year ago. Stunting includes doing wheelies on long stretches of highway.

On Monday night they were on the Dallas North Tollway.

The profile photo on Cass' Facebook page shows a motorcyclist doing a wheelie. Cass was one of 10 motorcyclists who were racing when his bike crashed into the back of a pickup truck. He died later at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

Anna Renaud is Cass’ friend and neighbor. She said Preston and his friends often did stunts on their motorcycles.

"They usually try to stick in parking lots where it's a lot slower, because they knew the highway wasn't safe," Renaud said.

The surveillance video shot by North Texas Tollway Authority cameras shows a speeding motorcycle doing a wheelie while a platoon of others followed.

Dallas police officers turned on their lights to stop them, but quickly backed down. They did not give chase.

"We will not pursue them and add to the danger," said Sgt. Warren Mitchell, a police spokesman.

Renaud, speaking from Lubbock, said she believes Cass' death will send a message to his friends and fellow riders.

"It never really hits home until it happens to someone you know," she said. "But I think they will take this to heart and stick with lots instead of the streets."

Preston Cass’ funeral will be held Friday afternoon at the Prestonwood Baptist Church chapel in Plano.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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