Alcohol, speed played role in deadly 3-wheeler wreck, police say

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are investigating the death of a woman who they said fell from the back of a three-wheeler on a busy Charlotte highway early Wednesday.

Officers told Channel 9 that the three-wheel 2016 Can-Am Spyder, driven by William Short, 44, and a motorcycle were speeding next to one another around 2:30 a.m. in the outbound lanes of Independence Boulevard near Charlottetowne Avenue.

The Can-Am hit the back of a vehicle, and Short lost control. He and a woman passenger, Traci Gagnon, 34, were thrown from the Can-Am, which continued moving until it hit a concrete barrier.

Gagnon, who was not wearing a helmet, died at the scene.

Police said alcohol and speed were contributing factors in the crash, and they are investigating the possibility that the two vehicles were racing.

The dark-colored motorcycle left the scene, police said.

Short was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. When he was released, police charged him with involuntary manslaughter, felony death by motor vehicle, driving while impaired and no motorcycle endorsement.

The incident was captured by Department of Transportation cameras, and officers are reviewing the footage.

Traffic was diverted to the bus lanes while police investigated. The outbound lanes reopened around 6 a.m.

The crash is still under investigation. Anyone with any information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department at 704-432-2169.

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