STATESVILLE, N.C. -- The North Carolina Highway Patrol says it appears that an Iredell County sheriff's deputy was chasing a speeding motorcyclist when his patrol car slammed into an SUV, killing the driver.

It happened around 6:20 p.m. Sunday on Highway 115 near the Yadkin Valley Road north of Statesville.

Troopers say Sgt. Tim Byrd was in a marked car with his lights and sirens on, chasing a speeding motorcycle.

They say an SUV driven by 40-year-old David Wayne Cox pulled out in front of Byrd. A witness says the deputy didn't have time to hit the brakes.

The patrol car slammed into the driver's side of the SUV at the intersection of Weston Road. The crash sent the SUV onto its side, while the patrol car crossed the center line and traveled up a large embankment.

Troopers say Cox was not wearing a seatbelt and died at the scene.

Byrd was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center with a broken leg. He is expected to recover.

Witnesses say a K-9 in the patrol car appeared to be OK after the crash.

Investigators would like to talk to the driver of the motorcycle that Byrd was pursuing. It's described as a black, sport cycle, possibly a Honda or Suzuki, with a yellow stripe. Anyone with information should call the Highway Patrol at 704-878-4221 or 1-800-445-1779.

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