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74-year-old Georgia man crashes on Blue Ridge Parkway, the 5th biker fatality of year

A 74-yearold Georgia man was killed after crashing on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This accident marked the fifth fatal motorcyclist accident on the popular route.

According to National Park Service records, the biker was identified in Senoia as George Wayne Harkins.

Officials stated that Harkins was killed on the spot.

The crash occurred around 4 p.m. Sunday near Milepost 348.5, about a half-mile from the Rough Ridge Tunnel, investigators say. This area is located west of Marion in North Carolina.

“Mr. Harkins was traveling north with a motorcycle group when he lost his control in a curve, and then left the roadway,” NPS officials explained. “No additional details are currently available.”

The American Legion Post 57 in Newnan, Georgia, reports Harkins was “on his way home from a ride with friends” at the time of the crash.

He was also a member of the Coweta Veterans Club. “George Harkins passed away yesterday doing what he loved, riding in the Blue Ridge mountains,” the club wrote on Facebook. He was a friend to everyone and a pillar in the community. We will miss him greatly.”

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According to Blue Ridge Parkway reports, Harkins’ death was the seventh fatality in the parkway.

  • Motorcyclist Shawn Emory, 38, of Weaverville, died on July 31 after “he lost control and over corrected,” before running into a guardrail, NPS officials said.

  • Larry McElroy, 70, and his passenger Brenda McElroy, 71, of Georgia, were killed June 22 when their motorcycle “crossed into the northbound lane, hitting the oncoming van” in North Carolina, officials said.

  • Matthew Gauck, 22, died May 23 on a stretch of the parkway through Virginia when his motorcycle crashed while “traveling at a high rate of speed,” park officials said.

Blue Ridge Parkway, a two-lane narrow blacktop that winds through Virginia and North Carolina for 469 miles, is an example of a narrow, winding road. It has been dubbed “America’s favorite drive” by the National Park Service.

Last year, 14 million people visited the parkway, making it among the most popular destinations managed by the National Park Service.

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