Deadly motorcycle crash closed Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard

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Clearwater police investigated a fatal motorcycle crash at a major intersection.

On Thursday morning, officials responded to a report of a crash after midnight on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and Hercules Avenue.

According to police, the motorcyclist was speeding when he collided with an SUV that was turning west on Gulf to Bay from Hercules. The impact from the crash was enough to split the motorcycle in half, tossing debris across several lanes of traffic. The gas tank wrapped around a gas station pump barrier and the engine landed a few feet away.

The motorcyclist has since been identified as Joshua Douglass of Palm Harbor. His friend, Mark Reid, arrived to the scene that morning, and was vividly emotional.

"He was a great kid," he said to FOX 13. "He had a lot of life in him. He loved to go out and have fun. His bike was his one thing that got him away from everything. He just liked to be out there and ride -- and enjoy the ride."

The crash could have had one more victim: Douglass' girlfriend, Sarah Moore.

"I was supposed to be on the back of his bike tonight," she said before stopping short of her next sentence, shaking her head, and saying, "I can't."

Gulf-to-Bay was closed for about eight hours in both directions from Keene Road to Belcher Road for the investigation. Hercules Avenue reopened just after 7:45 a.m. All lanes on Gulf-to-Bay reopened almost an hour later.