Durham motorcyclist hit by van, killed on NC-55 near I-40

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A Durham man was killed Tuesday morning on his way to work when a van attempting to turn onto Interstate 40 from N.C. Highway 55 slammed into his motorcycle, Durham police said.


The crash was reported just before 6:50 a.m. in the southbound lanes of N.C. 55 at the I-40 ramp.

According to police, Johnathan David Oneal, 33, was killed when a 2013 Ford transit van being drive by Benjamin Parker Brandenburg, 44, of Durham, hit Oneal’s 2016 Yamaha motorcycle.

Oneal was declared dead at the scene.

The southbound lanes of N.C. 55 were closed for nearly four hours while police and forensics teams investigated the crash.


Several of Oneal’s friends came to the scene of the crash and spoke with CBS North Carolina about their friend’s passion for motorcycles. Oneal was a member of the Clutch ‘N Burn Motorcycle Club, they said.

“He loved motorcycles. Motorcycles [were] his life – everything about it. Just riding. He taught me a lot of stuff,” said friend Terry McKenzie.

Another friend said you could almost always find Oneal on his bike.

“He’s one of the only people I know that no matter what the weather is – unless it’s snow or a typhoon – he’s on his bike,” said Kyle Lowrie .

A third friend, Carlos Goodman, said Oneal was “doing well” and lamented how his life was ended today.

“…it’s just a sad time that we was progressing, doing well and that’s how it all comes to an end,” he said.

Brandenburg was treated at the scene by EMS and was cited for misdemeanor death by vehicle, police said.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing.


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