Police say a moped skidded in a puddle and crashed into a telephone pole Thursday night in southeast Charlotte’s Chantilly neighborhood, killing the driver on his 24th birthday.
Matthew Ryan Foster, whose listed address is in Huntersville, was driving the 2012 GMW moped on East Seventh Street when his vehicle went off the road about 10:40 p.m. The crash took place near North Dotger Avenue, about a block from East Fifth Street.
Foster was driving inbound on the right shoulder of the road when the moped apparently hit a wet spot, according to police. A neighbor walking in the area Friday morning said she was told the water came from a nearby home irrigation system.
Police said the moped skidded into the curb, then went over the curb and struck the telephone pole. Foster died at the scene. Police investigators say they found a helmet at the scene but aren’t sure whether Foster was wearing it.
Friends said Friday that Foster was an Army veteran who returned from a tour in Iraq a few years ago.
“I got to know him when he came back from Iraq, and he was a great guy,” Darren McKenzie said. “I never heard him say a bad word about anybody. He was a happy guy, fun to be around.”
Another friend, asking not to be identified, said Foster always wore a helmet when he rode the moped, and said he enjoyed that form of transportation.
“He got through the Iraq tour safely, and then this happens!” the friend said.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say speed did not appear to be a factor. They do not know whether alcohol was involved.
Investigators ask that anyone who might have seen the crash call detectives at 704-432-2169.
Steve Lyttle: 704-358-6107 Twitter: @slyttle
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