Vale motorcyclist clings to life

A Vale man is in serious condition after his motorcycle crashed into steel cable dividing the median on U.S. 321.

N.C. Highway Patrol reports Noah Lopez, 23, of Vale, was driving his Buell motorcycle south on U.S. 321 at about 5 p.m. Monday when he apparently lost control and ran off the road into the median near the River Road exit. His motorcycle then slammed into steel cables that divide the median.

“It appears he just ran off into the median and got tangled up in the cables,” said N.C. State Trooper C.B. Cline. “It was a single vehicle accident, and at this point in time, I have no witnesses.”

Cline said it does not appear that Lopez was speeding.

While Cline said there were no witnesses, medical attention was quick to the scene. According to radio transmissions Monday a nurse was among those reporting the accident to 9-1-1 operators. Initial reports from the scene indicated Lopez suffered a ruptured spleen and dislocated shoulder, among other serious injuries.

Emergency personnel responded to the scene within minutes, and immediately issued a call for a helicopter to rush Lopez to medical attention. He was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center, where a spokesperson confirmed he was in serious condition at press time Tuesday.

Monday’s wreck left scraps of Lopez’s motorcycle strewn along the grass median. His gloves, book bag and shoes were scattered more than 50 feet from where the motorcycle came to rest.