Motorcyclist dies and Clayton officer might face charges

CLAYTON — More than two weeks after colliding with a Clayton police cruiser on State Route 49 a motorcyclist, James Payne, Jr., 51, of Dayton died around 3 p.m. Tuesday at Miami Valley Hospital.

Clayton Officer Mark Gau will likely be charged as a result of the crash, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. At this time no charges have been filed as the crash remains under investigation.

“We at the City of Clayton extend our sincere condolences to the family of James Payne for their loss of a loved one. Our thoughts and prayers are with them,” stated a press release issued by Clayton city officials Wednesday afternoon.

Gau was responding to a property damage crash when he pulled out of the Shell True North station June 13 and Payne collided with his cruiser. Gau was turning left out of the station near a “no left turn” sign and Payne was traveling southeast. The state patrol is trying to determine if Gau failed to yield to oncoming traffic.

Payne’s motorcycle burst into flames after the collision and he was transported to Miami Valley Hospital for treatment.

Gau remains on paid leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation into the crash and allegations that Gau was working as a bouncer while on paid leave.

Hamlin said the internal investigation should be completed sometime next week, barring any unforeseen circumstances.