The 28-year-old Kings Meadows man was also seen riding the Kawasaki motorcycle at “excessive speed” on Cimitiere Street shortly beforehand, and was spotted in the Birchalls car park earlier, Inspector Ruth Orr said.
She said the man – who is believed to be the father of young children – was killed when he ran a red light travelling south on Wellington Street at Paterson Street, hitting the front right corner of a Suzuki at 12.40am.
The Suzuki – an Uber with two passengers – was spun around and came to rest against a traffic light, while the man was thrown from the motorbike, lost his helmet and died at the scene. The Uber driver, a 25-year-old from Mowbray, was taken to Launceston General Hospital but released shortly after with minor injuries.
Inspector Orr said it was unfortunate to see more trauma on Tasmanian roads.
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“It’s really concerning, we have had some significant motor vehicle crashes in recent times. In respect to this crash this morning, it’s completely preventable in my opinion,” she said.
“Unfortunately that rider has made some decisions around his driving behaviour and ultimately that has contributed to him losing his life.
“He’s a young man, I understand he has a family including young children, and that’s really unfortunate that this has occurred.”
The crash, and the actions leading up to it, were witnessed by a range of people, given it occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning in the CBD.
Alcohol was also believed to be a factor, however police are yet to confirm the man’s blood-alcohol reading.
Investigations to continue this week
Inspector Orr said police would likely need to do a crash reconstruction this week to determine the exact circumstances.
“They will do more investigations probably tomorrow, possibly Tuesday. That will necessitate the closure of that intersection, but those times and dates will be confirmed,” she said.
“There were quite a number of witnesses as well that we did speak to last night.
“It was a Saturday night and it was around half past midnight so there were some pedestrians and other vehicles around.
“Anybody that did see that Kawasaki motorcycle around that time in and around the Launceston area, or particularly within the Launceston CBD, is asked to contact police.”
The two Uber passengers, both from Trevallyn, were uninjured.