Coroner: Crash Victim Racing Motorcycle When Killed

WINNSBORO (March 18, 2016) – A Winnsboro man was killed Tuesday afternoon after he lost control of the motorcycle he was allegedly racing through a residential area.

Fairfield County Coroner Barkley Ramsey said Joseph D. Gaston, 24, of Hollins Lane, Winnsboro, was operating a 2006 Honda motorcycle along the 100 block of Doty Road Extension, reportedly racing another motorcyclist, when his bike hit a patch of loose sand in the roadway. Ramsey said witnesses reported the bikes making two or three earlier passes up and down the same stretch of road before Gaston wiped out on the final pass at 4 p.m.

Gaston bounced in the roadway, Ramsey said, struck a pickup truck parked next to the road, before coming to rest in some nearby bushes. While alcohol was not a determining factor in the crash, Ramsey said, speed definitely was. The Honda motorcycle, Ramsey said, skidded another 75 to 100 feet without its driver, striking a parked car down the road.

Gaston was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, Ramsey said.

Ramsey said the S.C. Highway Patrol was, at press time, seeking the second motorcyclist, who fled the scene before officers could arrive.