Mt. Airy man found dead in front yard hours after crashing motorcycle

Posted at 4:29 PM, Jun 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-05 19:51:41-04

Howard County police say a man crashed his motorcycle, rode it home, and was found dead in his front yard hours later. 

It happened over the weekend in Mt. Airy. 

Police say we may never know what caused 47-year-old James Clements' motorcycle to lose control on Penn Shop Road, but it's one of the last places he was alive. 

"He left the roadway and the motorcycle was damaged and there was some other damage in that area, but it's unclear exactly what had happened there," Seth Hoffman, a spokesperson for the police department, said. 

Details of the crash are slim. 

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Investigators got a call Sunday morning in response to a man found lying his front yard. Officers found his body in front of his Long Corner Road home. 

"So we believe the accident occurred some time on Saturday night. We're not clear on exactly when, but he had been heard returning to his residence on his motorcycle that night, but nobody expected anything out of the ordinary," Hoffman said. 

...and that's where the ordinary ends. 

Hoffman says Clements somehow made his way from the crash site to his house about a mile away. 

Police found his cellphone and helmet visor near the site of the crash. 

"Their family has had a lot of tough luck. One of the other boys got killed in a car accident 25 years ago," Bill Fitter, a nearby neighbor, said recalling stories of Clements' family. 

He lives a few houses down from Clements, but didn't know him personally. 

Fitter says bikes ride constantly along roads near his house. 

"All of the time, the local bar up here -- they'll go up there Saturdays and Sundays," Fitter said. 

No word on where Clements may have been before the crash, but police are hoping more details emerge from this weekend mystery. 

"He skidded off the road. It's not entirely clear if he hit anything or what the cause of that was," Hoffman said. 

Police are expecting more details on how Clements died after they receive results of an autopsy. 

Investigators will also look into the actual crash.