September 28, 2021

Harford motorcyclist dies during police chase

Kevin Conlon/city editor

A 26-year-old Harford man died early Sunday morning when he crashed his motorcycle near the Port Watson Street bridge while being chased by police.

A 26-year-old Harford man leading police on a chased died early Sunday morning after crashing his motorcycle near the Port Watson Street bridge over the Tioughnioga River, state police said.

Casey J. Stockton crashed about 1 a.m. while being chased by city police and the Cortland County Sheriff’s Department vehicles, reported state police, which investigated the accident.

Mike Natoli, who lives at 247 Port Watson St., said Sunday afternoon that the body was removed from the bridge later in the morning.

Natoli said was awoken about 1 a.m. when he heard a noise that sounded like a “woosh” and immediately saw many flashing lights outside.

He watched 10 to 12 police vehicles on and around the bridge after the accident.

“I get up and the whole bridge is covered with police,” Natoli recalled.

He said he woke up again about 3:30 a.m. and saw a bank of bright lights had been brought to the bridge and a state police accident reconstruction team.

About 9:30 a.m., he saw a covered body being moved from the middle of the bridge along a walkway to a TLC Emergency Medical Services ambulance.

A large dark scratch was visible on a guardrail on the north side of bridge, straight ahead of the Port Watson Street roadway heading east from the city before the road curves lightly to the south before the bridge.

“That wasn’t there a few days ago,” Natoli said.

Police said the area of the crash was shut down until about 11:30 a.m.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct an error regarding the location of Stockton’s body when it was recovered.