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Motorcyclist dies in crash with SUV on Hwy 55 in Durham

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Speed a factor in Highway 55 motorcycle fatality Wednesday in Durham.

Durham police are investigating a fatal motorcycle accident on Highway 55 Wednesday evening.

It happened just before 3 p.m. between Burlington Avenue and Dayton Street.

Authorities said 34-year-old Octavius Lavone Blackwell of Durham collided with a Ford F-150 pickup truck as it attempted to make a left turn on South Alston Avenue.

According to investigators, Blackwell tried to stop, but lost control of his Yamaha motorcycle and struck the front of the truck before being thrown off the motorcycle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the truck, 77-year-old Willie Lee of Durham, was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries and later released.

The crash is still under investigation, but authorities said speed appeared to have been a factor.

N.C. 55 was closed for several hours while officers investigated the accident.

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