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Motorcycle club shares safety tips and warns of dangers after a deadly crash in Rockingham County

Troopers said two people from Florida are dead after a truck's tarp was torn off by a utility line, causing a group of motorcyclists to crash on U.S. 220.

GREENSBORO, Ala. — Driving is dangerous in itself, but doing so on two wheels brings on a whole new level of vulnerability on the roadways.  

So much of motorcyclist safety is in the hands of other drivers and Mother Nature. 

Nick Black was injured when his bike slid on fine sand that washed onto the roadway after a storm some years ago. 

 "The motorcycle came out from under me and I have a scare here," Black said. "I've healed and I’m back on the saddle."

There was a much more horrific incident on U.S. 220 near Williams Road in Rockingham County Friday morning.  

State highway patrol said a tractor-trailer's overhead tarping extended and it got caught onto a utility line.   

The tarping and power line were left on the road when troopers said a group of a dozen motorcyclists got entangled in the debris.  

It caused a deadly collision where Florida natives Stephen Maytas and Megan Brannon died. 

The family has started a Gofundme to pay for funeral expenses. 

Several others were seriously hurt.  

"It should be strapped down and held tight," said motorcyclist Harold Fuller. "But sometimes some people don't take heed to what the laws are." 

Highway patrol said the truck was owned by N.C. Best Logistics Group and operated by Leonard Cooper. They said Cooper never stopped and continued up 220 North.  

 "Look out for people to do the wrong thing you have to look out for the other person you could be doing everything right and someone else does something wrong," Black said. 

Black is the president of Greensboro's Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club.

For more than a decade he's rode with the group. He said dodging debris isn't uncommon.   

"Trucks who have recaps can leave these large rubber deposits on the road you never know what's going to be on the road," Black said. "That's why we advise you travel at a speed where you can control your motorcycle." 


Black recommends motorcyclists traveling in a group of three or more have a trained road captain.  

"A safety officer who trains road captains and road captains lead the ride," Black said. "They plan the ride and they ensure the safety of the group that's riding." 

Making yourself visible with extra lights, keeping a good distance, and riding within your skill level are also tips the group recommends.  

Investigators plan to meet with the Rockingham County district attorney later this week to determine if charges will be brought against the tractor-trailer driver.  

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