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One person was killed an another hurt after a motorcycle wreck on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Buncombe County.
The U.S. Park Service confirms that 78-year-old Don Tilley died in the crash near Mile Post 394. The wreck happened around 8 p.m. Friday. Tilley's wife, Robinette, was transported to Mission Hospital with critical injuries.
Tilley owned Tilley Harley-Davidson in Statesville and Salisbury. "We ask everyone keep the entire Tilley family in their thoughts and prayers. We thank you for your love and condolences and appreciate the many years of loyalty to the Tilley Harley-Davidson Family," was posted by the Tilley Harley-Davidson Facebook page on Saturday.
NASCAR driver Kyle Petty also expressed his sorrow over the death, posting on Twitter Saturday, "God Speed, [Don Tilley]. Don taught me how to ride long distance, love Harleys & most importantly how to be a friend.
News 13 spoke with Tilley's longtime friend, Michael Hartness, by phone. Hartness says he and Tilley have both run motorcycle shops in Statesville for decades. "He was an icon in the industry. I think Harley looked up to him, racing looked up to him," Hartness said.
The Asheville Police Department assisted in the accident at the request of the U.S. Park Service. Sgt. Dave Romick said Traffic Safety Unit officers documented the scene by field sketches, photography and determination of the events that led to the crash. He said the TSU will continue to assist the U.S. Park Service with their case file.
Ranger say the cause of the crash is under investigation. They say they don't believe weather or road conditions were a factor.
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