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Gastonia motorcyclist among 10 highway deaths in NC over Fourth of July weekend

A motorcycle rider from Gastonia died Saturday after being hit by a car in heavy rain on U.S. 321 just north of Dallas.

His death was one of 10 fatalities reported by the N.C. Highway Patrol over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, an increase from the seven reported highway deaths last year.

Jeffrey Maddox, 58, was riding his 2004 Harley Davidson southbound around 5:45 p.m. July 4 when he pulled under the Cloninger Road overpass near Dallas to wait for heavy rain to stop, N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper B.D. Michael said.

Maddox was hit by a 2012 Nissan Maxima also traveling southbound when the car hydroplaned and went off the road. He was taken to Caromont Regional Medical Center and then airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, where he died.

Mandy Lackey, 30, who was driving the Maxima, was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle. She is accused of driving too fast for the weather conditions and having unsafe tires, Michael said.

Highway deaths were also reported over the weekend in Halifax, Guilford, Greene, Hoke, Gates, Pender and Sampson counties. Two were reported in Rockingham County.

Bacon: 704-358-5725; Twitter: @erindbacon

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