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Moped driver killed in U.S. 52 wreck

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By Shaina Stockton

HILLSVILLE — A moped driver was killed in a collision with a logging truck on U.S. 52 today, according to police at the accident scene.

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Virginia State Police identified the victim as Aubrey Lee Matney of Hillsville.

According to Virginia State Police Senior Trooper R.B. Phipps, Matney was driving a moped south on 52 — south of Hillsville, near Sunnyside — in the far right lane.

The log truck, operated by Andrew Belford Lawson of Hillsville, was following the moped, and attempted to go around him.

According to witnesses, Matney attempted to turn left at the same time onto Kinglet Lane, and struck the logging truck.

Matney was pronounced dead at the scene.

No charges were filed, confirmed State Police 1st Sgt. Mike Musser later in the afternoon. "Traffic was passing [Matney] on the left, and it was a designated passing zone," he said.

Hillsville Fire Department also assisted at the scene.

The wreck backed up traffic on 52 as the accident scene was cleaned up.

"This accident is justification for why mopeds should not be on highways with speeds higher than 35 miles per hour," Musser said. He spoke of Senate Bill No. 731, which was offered in January 2013 as an attempt to prohibit the use of mopeds on roads with speed limits exceeding 35 miles per hour.

He plans to call state Sen. Bill Carrico of Grayson County, who patroned the bill, to tell him about the accident. "He might want to use this as a foundation," he said.