Off-duty Phoenix police officer killed in motorcycle crash near Yarnell

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Gregory Lavelle By Jennifer Thomas Gregory Lavelle By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- An off-duty Phoenix police officer died Wednesday after losing control of his personal motorcycle on State Route 89 just south of Yarnell.

According to the Department of Public Safety, Officer Gregory Lavelle, 31, somehow lost control in a left-hand curve, struck the guard rail and went down at approximately 1:30 p.m.

The crash occurred in an area known as Yarnell Hill, which climbs about 3,000 feet in the space of a few miles.

The Congress Fire Department responded to the scene and performed CPR, but Lavelle was pronounced dead at the scene.

DPS Officer Robert Bailey said Lavelle had been riding with two friends and was wearing a helmet at the time of the wreck.

Lavelle had been with the Phoenix Police Department for three years and worked out of the Central City Precinct. He was also an Army veteran.

Phoenix police Officer Luis Samudio said Lavelle was born in Ohio. He was not married and did not have any children. He is survived by his parents and three siblings.

The cause of the collision is currently under investigation.