Local
2:00 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Clarence High School senior killed in motorcycle crash

A Clarence High School student was killed Wednesday morning in a high-impact crash on Main Street in the town.

Emergency crews at the corner of Harris Hill & Main Street near the crash site Wednesday
Emergency crews at the corner of Harris Hill & Main Street near the crash site Wednesday
Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

Patrick Conway, 18, was a senior at the school.

Principal Kenneth Smith issued a statement Wednesday afternoon:

"The Clarence school community has been saddened by the tragic death of Patrick Conway, a high school senior involved in an automobile accident on Wednesday morning. Our entire high school has been impacted by this loss. Our deepest sympathy is with Patrick's family and friends."

The collision occurred around 9 a.m. on Main Street near Harris Hill Road. The a young rider veered into oncoming traffic and struck a car head-on while traveling at a high rate of speed.  The motorcycle burst into flames. 

Conway was pulled over by a state trooper for a missing rear license plate prior to the crash, but attempted to flee after the trooper exited his vehicle.

NYS Police Captain Steven Grapp
NYS Police Captain Steven Grapp
Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

"There was quite a debris field," says State Police Captain Steven Graap. "It was a violent crash and very tragic. Very sad for all people involved."

The person driving the vehicle was not injured. Main Street was closed for several hours between Harris Hill and Susan Drive, but has since re-opened.

Principal Kenneth Smith says he was shocked to learn the sad news this morning. He tells WBFO News Conway was a well-liked student.

"He had relationships with students. He had good relationships with faculty and staff. He was a good school citizen. It definitely impacts the entire school community," Smith says.

Conway was just weeks away from graduating. He was enlisted to serve in the Marine Corps. 

"He was really proud of the fact that he had chosen to enlist in the Marines Corps and was looking to serve his country after graduation," Smith says.

"You never go into work thinking that you're going to lose one of your students. It takes the wind out of your sail."

Clarence High School has made psychologists and guidance counselors available to assist students and faculty in dealing with their grief throughout the week.