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One Dead After Weekend Scooter Accident In Carolina Beach

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - A Wilmington man riding a motor scooter died following a collision with a car late Friday night July 20.
Carolina Beach Police received a call at 11:45PM Friday night in reference to an accident involving a car and a scooter in the area of South Lake Park Blvd and Spartanburg Avenue near the Scotchman gas station. A black Honda Accord and a motor scooter were involved in the accident and the responding officer reported one man was on the ground with a couple of people trying to help.
The driver of the scooter, Lawrence Eugene Shepherd Jr., had a weak pulse and shallow breathing. The officer observed he was bleeding from the back of the head, unconscious and unresponsive.
The driver of the Honda Accord, Lamont Maurice Clayton, told officers he was traveling in the north-bound lane and when turning into the Scotchman Store he did not see the scooter coming. The officer asked Clayton if he had anything to drink that night and Clayton said no. The officer reported he did not detect any odor of alcohol from Clayton and his eyes were not blood shot and was steady on his feet.
Clayton submitted to a roadside breath test for alcohol and tested .00. No one else at the scene witnessed the accident but several people said they heard it occur.
The driver of the car said the moped hit the front passenger side of his vehicle and went over the hood hitting the windshield on the driver's side. He said he saw no headlights from the scooter when turning into the store.
Police said the Bell helmet that Shepherd was wearing is considered a novelty helmet or "skull cap type" and landed 38 feet from the point of impact with the car. The liner of the helmet was located 3 feet from the helmet.
The victim was initially listed as John Doe because he was carrying no identification. Blood was drawn from the victim for testing for alcohol.
Using the victims cell phone, detectives were eventually able to contact a family member.
Shepherd later passed away from injuries. One family member said he had ridden the scooter that night a short time before the accident.
He said the engine was flooding and cutting off whenever the bike was stopped but reported the front and back lights were working when the engine was running at that time.
Later on Shepherd drove off on the scooter. An accident Reconstructionist certified by the North Carolina Justice Academy removed the bulb from the front headlamp of the scooter and examined it.
He stated the bulb was not burning at the time of the accident but noted the scooter had no off switch for that light. It would either be in the low or high beam position for a scooter in normal working order with no mechanical problems during operation. 
On Tuesday July 24, Carolina Beach Police Chief Kurt Bartley said the case is still under investigation and the report will be turned over to the District Attorney's office. At this time it's listed as a "non-negligent traffic death" unless the District Attorney's office decides otherwise.