Moped driver seriously hurt in collision with car on I-440 in Raleigh

From staff reportsJune 20, 2013 

— A 44-year-old Raleigh resident was seriously hurt Wednesday morning when he turned his moped into the path of a car on Interstate 440 near the U.S. 264 exit and was hit from behind, according to a police accident report.

A second car hit the first, but neither car driver was hurt.

Police said John T. Atkinson of 201½ Kennedy St. was in a right exit lane on the I-440 beltline shortly before noon.

A car driven by Jennifer S. Sweeney, 58, of Fayetteville was in a left lane of the exit on the westbound side of I-440 and moved left into a travel lane, Officer P.G. Manukas, the accident investigator, said in the report.

Atkinson turned the moped, which was going about 30 mph, two lanes left and wound up in front of Sweeney’s 2000 Mazda, which Manukas estimated was going 55 mph.

Sweeney hit the brakes, but could not stop in time to avoid Atkinson’s machine and was traveling at about 32 mph when they collided, the report stated.

The moped was thrown almost 200 feet, the report said.

Atkinson, who was wearing a helmet, suffered “disabling” injuries, Manukas’s report said, and a spokeswoman at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh said he was listed in fair condition Thursday.

It is unclear why Atkinson turned into the travel lanes from the exit lanes.

A car driven by Marian Ghobrial, 29, of Raleigh was behind Sweeney’s car and was able to slow from 60 mph to only 47 mph when Sweeney’s car braked, the report said.

The moped was unregistered, which state law allows for such vehicles as long as their top speed cannot exceed 30 mph on a flat surface.

Police issued no tickets in the incident.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service