Police have identified the man involved in a fatal motorcycle crash that took place Friday along Route 54, just east of Shawn Avenue.

According to investigating officer Sgt. Duane Frederick, Rush Township police, Zachary Hess, 28, Brockton, lost control of a Honda motorcycle and truck several trees. Witnesses stated they saw sparks coming from Hess's motorcycle before he crashed. Hess was not wearing a helmet.

Frederick said Hess suffered major injuries and the accident is still under investigation.

Emergency responders were summoned by the Schuylkill Communications Center shortly after 6 p.m. to an area just past Sky-View Cemetery and Hometown Nursing and Rehabilitation Center where the Honda Gold Wing Aspencade apparently failed to negotiate a curve.

The bike plowed through tall grass and brush, generating a long swath of compressed vegetation that marked its path, before eventually hitting trees on the side of the highway.

The force of the collision ejected the operator, who was found lying in the woods, critically injured, and rushed to the hospital.

Witnesses who live nearby said the motorcycle was traveling east with a group of other bikers when, for unknown reasons, something beneath or on the motorcycle appeared to scrape the macadam roadway, causing sparks and leaving a mark on the highway.

"There were sparks all over the place," said a youth who resides in the area.

Route 54 remained closed from Lafayette Avenue to an area near Ye Old Hauto Road.

Emergency units from Rush Township, Tamaqua, Nesquehoning and Lehighton responded