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Lake Wylie man, 20, dies in cycle crash

CLOVER -- A Lake Wylie man was killed Saturday afternoon in a motorcycle collision, officials said.

Lonnie Justin Gill, 20, of 37 Greenwich Blvd. died on impact from head injuries, York County Chief Deputy Coroner David Chambers said. Gill was not wearing a helmet, Chambers said.

A graduate of Clover High School, Gill worked as a line technician with Williams Electric in Charlotte. The avid baseball player and former Cub Scout was headed from North Carolina to his father's home when the collision happened.

The father, Curtis Gill, said his son was dedicated to family.

"He was my heart," Curtis Gill said. "I don't know what I'm going to do without him. My son always took care of me. He was the man I always wanted to be."

Around 5 p.m. Saturday, Gill was driving a 2004 Suzuki motorcycle south along S.C. 161 about 6 miles west of Clover. He drove off the right side of the road after a curve, struck a road sign and was thrown into a wooded area, said Lance Cpl. Josef Robinson of the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Gill's speed topped the posted 55 mph speed limit for the area, though his exact speed isn't known, Robinson said. The collision remains under investigation.

As of Thursday, 627 people had died on state roadways this year, according to the state highway safety office. That's up from 572 people who died on state roads through the same time last year.

At least 71 people died while riding motorcycles, state troopers said. Last year, 67 motorcyclists died, including at least two in the area.

Last May, a York man died while riding a Suzuki motorcycle. In July, a Great Falls man riding a Yamaha motorcycle died.

Authorities say the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day is the deadliest time of the year on South Carolina roadways because more people are traveling.

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