Updated:GRANITE FALLS, N.C. —
A motorcycle hit a car near Granite Falls killing both riders, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol.
Trooper Chris Bently said the incident happened at 11:46 a.m. after the motorcycle had been chased by law enforcement officers starting in Blowing Rock.
John Franklin, 35, of Claremont, N.C., with passenger Allison Nixon, 22, of Conover, was spotted by a Blowing Rock Police Department officer around 11:30 a.m. going south.
The 2002 Yamaha motorcycle took off at a high rate of speed, Bently said. The officer alerted another BRPD officer, who spotted the motorcycle near the Outback restaurant on U.S. 321. The driver was weaving and speeding.
BRPD chased the motorcycle down the mountain and discontinued the chase once they were inside the city limits of Lenoir.
A sergeant with Caldwell County Sheriff's Office briefly continued the chase south of Lenoir.
The motorcycle continued through Granite Falls to the area near Walmart at Glenridge Drive.
Bently said a woman was making a left turn onto U.S. 321 north. She pulled out and was hit by the motorcycle on the left front fender. Both riders were killed.
Police in Blowing Rock and Caldwell County Sheriff’s Deputies had chased the motorcycle earlier, but the pursuit was broken off more than 10 miles from where the crash happened.
The airbags of the car deployed and the driver suffered minor burns from the airbags, but was not seriously injured or taken to the hospital.
Franklin was driving without a license, but Bently said the reason he ran is not clear.
Bently added the relationship between the riders is not clear, but they were acquaintances.
No charges have been filed at this time, but the district attorney will review the case.