A motorcycle accident at the Rockingham Dragway has left one person dead and another hospitalized.
Authorities are still investigating the details behind the crash, which occurred around 2 a.m. Friday morning.
According to Richmond County Sheriff James Clemmons Jr., a reconstruction team, comprised of both NC Highway Patrol and city police, has been called in to determine just what caused the accident.
Police have identified the victims as 27-year-old Michael Andrew Roberts of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Thomas M. Lipka of Lancaster, Penn. Police said Roberts was pronounced dead at the scene, and Lipka was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. According to Detective Jeff Millen of the Sheriff’s Office, Lipka remained in intensive care late Friday, and was expected to recover from the accident.
Sheriff Clemmons said the two men were at the dragway for this weekend’s 13th annual Smoke Out bike rally, which runs Friday and Saturday.
“People camp out early and come to the track,” Clemmons said. “They started coming in (Thursday) and setting up campsites.”
Detective Jay Childers of the Sheriff’s Office said Roberts and Lipka were riding together on the same motorcycle on the dragway when the accident occurred.
“It was dark, and they were coming up the drag strip the wrong way,” Childers said. “They lost control at the start/finish line and slid into a building.”
— Staff Writer Mallory Brown can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 16, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more: Richmond County Daily Journal - Motorcycle crash proves fatal