Published: August 30, 2012
A state police trooper stationed at the Troop N barracks in West Hazleton was killed in a low-speed motorcycle crash Wednesday night in Montour Township, Columbia County.
Township police said Royce Engler Jr., 27, who was off duty, was riding his motorcycle with two other riders on U.S. Route 11 at about 8:30 p.m. and lost control of his bike and laid it down when he attempted to make a turn on the on-ramp of southbound state Route 42.
Police said Engler was traveling between the two other cyclists and his crash caused a rider behind him to lay his motorcycle down.
No other injuries were reported.
The crash happened at a low speed, police said.
The Columbia County Coroner’s Office pronounced Engler dead at the scene. Coroner Dr. Lori Masteller said no autopsy would be performed, and that Engler died from multiple traumatic injuries.
Engler and his two friends were riding from a restaurant in Buckhorn when the crash happened on a long, sweeping turn on the ramp, police said. They were not drinking and Engler was not wearing a helmet.
Police said the trooper was riding a chopper-style motorcycle, which has a large rear tire and stretched-out front end. He only had the bike for about one month.
Engler enlisted in the state police June 2, 2008, according to Maria Finn, state police spokeswoman.
He graduated as trooper Dec. 5, 2008, and was assigned to Troop J in Lancaster. In July 2011 he was transferred to Troop N Swiftwater, and in October 2011 he was transferred to Troop N Hazleton, where he was employed until his passing.
Finn called the accident “absolutely tragic,” stating she “can’t imagine what the family is going through.” Finn said it is a sad day not only for the Engler family but his family at the Pennsylvania State Police.
State police Commissioner Frank Noonan was unavailable for comment Thursday.
Engler’s father is Wright Township Police Chief Royce Engler, who has spent 34 years with the department. His father was just promoted to the position in June.