Speed a factor in fatal motorcycle crash on NC 55 in Durham

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Durham police are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash that happened Wednesday afternoon on North Carolina Highway 55 at South Alston Avenue.

RELATED: Motorcyclist dies in crash with truck on NC 55 in Durham

durham nc 55

The crash happened around 3 p.m. when Willi Lee, 77, of Durham, was driving his Ford F-150 pickup truck south on N.C. 55 and attempted to make a left turn on South Alston Avenue, police said. At the same time Lee was turning, Octavius Lavone Blackwell, 34, of Durham, was driving north on his Yamaha motorcycle and slammed into the pickup.

Investigators said that Blackwell tried to stop, but lost control of his bike and crashed into the front of Lee’s truck. Blackwell was ejected from the motorcycle and declared dead at the scene. Lee was taken to the hospital and released.

The crash is under investigation, but early indications point to speed as a factor in the fatal wreck, police said.

The highway was closed between Burlington Avenue and Dayton Street for several hours on Wednesday.

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