The OPP is unsure why the driver of a motorcycle left the roadway on Aug. 4, striking a rock cut and losing his life.
On Aug. 4 just after 2 p.m., Nipissing West OPP officers, Sudbury EMS and Greater Sudbury Fire Services were called to the scene of a single vehicle crash in the eastbound lanes of Highway 17, just west of Highway 144.
The investigation revealed that the motorcycle had gradually left the roadway, went into the bush and struck a rock cut. The driver was taken to hospital with critical injuries. He died in hospital.
Const. Michelle Coulombe said it was unclear from the investigation why the vehicle simply drove off the road into the ditch, but it's clear from the tire marks, she said, that brakes weren't applied. The motorcycle simply drove off the highway.
"It could be a medical issue, it could be he fell asleep, we're not sure. We're still investigating," Coulombe said.
The coroner's office confirmed to Sudbury.com that the man's death is being investigated to try to determine if there was a medical reason he drove the vehicle off the road.
Police have identified the driver as Gerald Sutherland, 63, of Nairn Centre.
The crash closed one eastbound lane of Highway 17 for approximately four hours that day while OPP Technical Collision Investigators investigated. Speed was not a factor in the crash, police said.
The investigation is ongoing under the direction of the Office of the Chief Coroner and Forensic Pathology Service (OCC-FPS).