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2 motorcyclists seriously injured in crashes happening just days apart across greater Charlotte area

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and advocates say the goal is to increase caution and encourage drivers and motorcyclists to look out for each other.

NORTH CAROLINA, USA — Law enforcement from Gastonia and Lincoln County now investigating two serious crashes involving motorcycles that caused both of the riders to be airlifted for care.

The first crash happened on Tuesday afternoon along Highway 321. That's where investigators say Ethan Murphy was riding his motorcycle when 29-year-old Keondra Lawrence hit Murphy as she made a U-turn near Roechling Street. 

Officers arrested Lawrence charging her with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). 

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First responders rushed Murphy to the ER, then later airlifted him to the trauma unit in Charlotte where he was treated and underwent surgery for a broken leg, broken wrist, torn aorta, and a severe gash above his eye.

“The amount of fear in him was so bad, but he was trying to stay strong you could tell," cousin Ashley Marie said. “Just a little bit ago he said he’s happy to be alive and he knows how it could have easily been a different story.”

Just days later, on Friday afternoon police respond to yet another crash involving a motorcycle. This time in Lincoln County on Old Highway 16. Armod Hunt's younger brother was the victim after he said a driver pulled out in front of him trying to make a left turn.

“When I see that bike and I look over and see that car it’s that heart-stopping moment," Hunt said.

He believes crashes like this could be avoided if more drivers used more caution.

“That look twice thing is real," Hunt said. "You got to look more than once, you can't just look and think you’re clear and pull off."

National reports show motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a crash compared to a passenger in a car. In 2020, more than 5,500 motorcyclists were killed in car crashes.

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A GoFundMe account has now been set up to help Murphy cover some of his medical expenses.

Contact Briana Harper at bharper@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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