- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Authorities in western North Carolina say at least three people have been killed in accidents involving motorcycles during Motorcycle Awareness Month.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports (https://avlne.ws/1pvtpxB) that officials expect more fatalities as the weather gets warmer.

During the past five years statewide, 105 motorcycle fatalities were recorded in June, the most of any month, according to the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety program.

Graham and Buncombe counties have recorded the most fatal motorcycle accidents in western North Carolina in that time. The 17 fatal wrecks for each county since 2009 are tied for 11th statewide.

Investigations into recent motorcycle-related deaths revealed that mistakes of the motorcyclists contributed to the accidents. N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Brad Hoxit said inattention and speeding are often contributing factors in motorcycle accidents he investigates.



One of the three deaths in May occurred after an Oklahoma man was traveling with his wife through Haywood County on Interstate 40 last week on their three-wheel motorcycle with a small trailer attached. The investigating trooper said William Halstead, 65, of New Castle, Oklahoma, was traveling with his wife, Ola, and with a group of motorcycles.

Trooper Travis Crisp said William Halstead was separated from the group and attempted to rejoin them near mile marker 5 on I-40 but made an improper lane change. His trailer struck the car and the motorcycle overturned.

The couple was thrown from the motorcycle. William Halstead was severely injured and his wife died.

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