Local News

Mo-ped rider killed in I-95 wreck

Posted July 15, 2011 12:52 p.m. EDT
Updated July 15, 2011 4:47 p.m. EDT

— A Cumberland County man died late Thursday when a tractor-trailer hit him from behind as he was riding a mo-ped on Interstate 95, authorities said.

Charles Ray Fairley, 48, of Pummill Road in Gray's Creek, was in the right northbound lane between the exits for I-95 Business to Fayetteville and N.C. Highway 59 to Hope Mills at about 8:50 p.m. when he was hit and killed, authorities said.

The truck driver, David LaSalle, 36, of Stewartsville, N.J., told Highway Patrol troopers that he tried to switch lanes to avoid hitting Fairley, but he couldn't because of traffic. He also said he couldn't slow down fast enough as he came up behind the mo-ped.

LaSalle hasn't been charged in the crash.

State law prohibits using mo-peds on interstate highways or any road with a 40 mph minimum speed requirement. On other roads, such scooters must stay a foot from the white line along the shoulder.

Carson Kemp said he used to work on Fairley's mo-ped and warned him against driving on major roads.

"I tell him, 'Look, you can't get on the interstates or the major (highways). Just go the back roads. It might take you more time, but it's safe,'" Kemp said. "You have to be very aware of what's around you at all time."

Trooper Greg Steffans said any mo-ped operator who travels more than 35 mph also must have a license and insurance and be registered with the state Division of Motor Vehicles.

Most mo-ped operators aren't required to have a license.

Steffans said that, although mo-peds have lights, he would recommend that riders wear reflective vests so they can be more easily seen by other drivers.

The wreck came a week after another mo-ped rider was killed in a hit-and-run.

David Lee Cruz III, 31, of Fayetteville, was hit from behind on Camden Road on July 7. The driver of the vehicle that hit him hasn't been found.

Cruz died the following day from his injuries.

That same day, Belton Bullard Jr., 46, of Red Springs, died of injuries he received in June when he lost control of his mo-ped on Old Wire Road and crashed.