08/22/07 — Highway Patrol looking for crash witnesses

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Highway Patrol looking for crash witnesses

By Lee Williams
Published in News on August 22, 2007 1:45 PM

Officials of the Wayne County Highway Patrol are asking for the public's help to answer questions left in the wake of Sunday's motorcycle crash that killed a Dudley man.

Nick Ryan Melvin, 24, of Hollybrook Lane, was traveling south on U.S. 13 when his 2006 Honda racing bike collided with a 2002 Suzuki SUV driven by Joshua Lance Chrisman, 17, of Slow James Road, Mount Olive.

The accident occurred on U.S. 117 South Bypass and U.S. 13 South by the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Dudley at about 1:34 p.m.

Melvin had just made a right turn onto U.S. 13 South from U.S. 117 South Bypass, and Chrisman was in the U.S. 13 northbound turn lane attempting to turn into the BP gas station when the two vehicles collided, Trooper J.B. Wiggs said.

Melvin "laid his bike down," which is customarily done by some motorcycle drivers to avoid a collision and severe injury or death. However, Melvin, was ultimately struck and killed in the collision.

Melvin was wearing a helmet, and Chrisman was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.

Troopers spent several hours collecting information after the accident, but they need witnesses to come forward with information to assist in the investigation, said Lt. Everett Clendenin, highway patrol spokesman.

"Troopers are requesting that anyone who may have witnessed the fatal collision that occurred on U.S. 13 in Wayne County on Aug. 19 at 1:34 p.m. to telephone the Wayne County Highway Patrol office," Clendenin said.

Several other people were inside Chrisman's vehicle. However, no other injuries were reported.

Details on whether Melvin lost control of his motorcycle or who was at fault are still undetermined. However, officials said Melvin was not struck from behind.

No one has been charged or ruled at fault in the accident since the investigation is still ongoing, officials said Tuesday.

Anyone with information should call the N.C. State Highway Patrol at 731-7960 or 1-800-662-7956.