Collision course

A 19-year-old survived a deadly crash after he merged his motorcycle into a pick-up truck pulling a flatbed trailer on I-40 Thursday morning.

A second nearby wreck forced the closure of both westbound lanes of the interstate at different points for more than an hour.

The morning wrecks were part of a day filled with collisions throughout the county Thursday.

Witnesses say Catawba County resident Joseph Platt, 19, was merging his Kawasaki Ninja onto I-40 westbound at Exit 130 when a collision occurred about 8:40 a.m. Thursday.

“He was coming off the ramp. He checked in front of him, but he didn't check his blind spot,” said Ethan Garrett, who was on his way to class at Catawba Valley Community College when he saw the accident. “He was coming down the ramp quickly and he just caught the end of the trailer as he was coming off the ramp. He wobbled, bounced and started rolling.”

To read more of this story, pick up the weekend print edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.