NSBPD records supervisor: Christmas Day motorcyclist killed hitting tree was speeding on Honda CBR 600

2008 Honda CBR 600 RR like the one an Edgewater biker was killed on while speeding Christmas Day in New Smyrna Beach / Headline Surfer®Mattheu Laurrell, 30, killed in motorcycle accident Christmas Day in New Smyrna Beach / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer® /
Matheu W. Laurrell, shown here in the inet, was operating a 2008 Honda CBR 600 RR, a fast sport bike, like the one shown at left in this snapshot, when he was killed on Thursday after striking a palm tree while speeding, according to New Smyrna Beach police. The type of bike was not included in an initial press release on the fatal accident that claimed the life of the 30-year-old Edgewater man on Christmas.

 

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- A 30-year-old Edgewater motorcyclist was speeding while riding a 2008 Honda CBR 600 RR when he struck a palm tree in the 500 block off North Riverside Drive, splitting the tree in half and killing himself in the process on Christmas Day.

Matheu W. Laurrell, who was not wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene of the 1:50 p.m. accident. The year, make and model of the motorcycle, standard information expected in a fatal crash summary to news media, was not included in a press release sent out by the New Smyrna Beach Police Department later that day.

Headline Surfer® wrote to the police department's initial officer, who wrote the press release, Sgt. Valerie Joyce, as well as Acting Police Chief Donna LaVallee and her assigned PIO or public information officer, Sgt. Shane Riggle that evening. The internet newspaper also sent a private message to Riggle's Facebook account, but got no responses from any of the cops.

Likewise, an email was sent on Sunday to Lavallee and Riggle again and copied to City Manager Pam Brangaccio, as well as Mayor Jim Hathaway and Commissioners Kirk Jones, Jason McGuirk, Judy Reiker and Jake Sachs. But again, there was no response from any of the police officials or city leaders.

The press release stated the motorcyclist had been traveling at a "high rate o speed." That piece of information begged the question as to what kind of motile the man was riding. A Honda CRB 600 RR is classified as a "speed bike," with lots of acceleration.

The press release stated the motorcyclist had been traveling at a "high rate o speed." That piece of information begged the question as to what kind of motile the man was riding. A Honda CRB 600 RR is classified as a "speed bike," with lots of acceleration.

It's understandable that Joyce may have been off after her shift, especially since she had worked the overnight shift into Christmas Day. But that's why the department has a PIO, Sgt. Shane Riggle. But, he, too, apparently wasn't on duty.

"I am currently out on vacation until the 5th," Riggle wrote in an email to Headline Surfer® just after noon today. "I will make a call and e-mail you back... I will get you the motorcycle model by this afternoon."

Headline Surfer® hit "reply all," to the email with the press release, it got the attention of far more city personnel as well as other media, but even with this step the lone response came four days later from Allshouse, the civilian records supervisor in a 9:38 a.m. email this morning to the internet newspaper.

Lavallee has been acting chief since George Markert abruptly quit as police chief in mid-October after nearly 18 months on the job.

Then-PIO Sgt. Eugene Griffith told Headline Surfer® that LaVallee was ordered by Brangaccio not to speak with Headline Surfer®, something Brangaccio has since denied, though LaVallee has not returned numerous calls and messages for comment. Griffith quit the following month after a verbal exchange with Lavallee.

Editor's Note: Headline Surfer® has a series of stories coming up today on Griffith's departure as well as the rapid turnover of top cops in the NSB police force over the past two years in the wake of the evidence room theft scandal.

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Posted Sun, 2014-12-28 00:38
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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.