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May 13, 2006: Man on scooter dies in accident

By Frank DeLoache and Kirsten Valle
Salisbury Post

First published May 13, 2006

A 27-year-old man died early Friday morning when the motorized scooter he was riding overturned on U.S. 52 between Granite Quarry and Rockwell.
The N.C. Highway Patrol said Michael Jason Brown, 27, of 1665 Lentz Road, died in the accident, which occurred at 2:11 a.m. Friday.
In his report, Trooper E.B. Purdue said Brown was driving hisscooter north on U.S. 52 toward Granite Quarry, traveling about 45 mph. Near the point where Sides Road intersects U.S. 52, the scooter crossed the double-yellow line and overturned on its side, according to the report. The scooter traveled 61 feet after turning over.
Highway Patrol First Sgt. D.G. Hinson said Perdue’s investigation is continuing, but the cause of the accident is not known. He said Perdue did not find any indication that alcohol was involved.
According to the N.C. Department of Correction Web site, Brown was convicted of driving while impaired on Sept. 9, 2004, and was still serving three years of probation.
Brown did not have a driver’s license, Hinson said.
Betty Brown, grandmother of Michael Brown, said family members are puzzled about how the accident could have happened. She said she could not believe her grandson simply lost control of his scooter in the middle of U.S. 52.
“There’s no way … He rode dirt bikes and all that stuff,” she said. “He was real comfortable on it. It was a big scooter, too.”
Betty Brown said she and her husband, Roy, had “practically raised Michael Brown from a baby,” and he lived with them until he was 16.
His parents, Elizabeth and Ronnie, are separated, and he had been living with his father, she said.
Betty Brown said her grandson was a thoughtful man who loved his family, his friends and his guitar.
“He was very concerned about others,” she said. “I don’t know how to say it. He was just waiting for his kids to come visit him.”
Two of his children, Matthew and Nathan Brown, 5 and 4 years old, respectively, were planning to arrive from Charleston, S.C., in a month and spend the summer with their father, Betty Brown said.
Michael Brown’s third child, 10-year-old Brianna Honeycutt, lives in Salisbury.
“He was kind of sad in a way,” Betty Brown said of her grandson. “But he was happy, too. He was sad because he missed his kids.”
But he had a job that kept him busy — he worked 12-hour shifts loading trucks — and attended Genesis Baptist Church in China Grove whenever he could, his grandmother said.
He was close with his grandparents and his friends. One friend, a college music major, had been teaching him guitar, and Michael Brown had just returned from a trip to visit his cousin in Chapel Hill.
“I picked him up from the train Wednesday,” two days before the accident, Betty Brown said. “I wish he’d have stayed longer.”
Powles Funeral Home in Rockwell is handling the funeral arrangements.
Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday, and the funeral will begin at 2 p.m. at Genesis Baptist Church, 9710 Old Concord Road, China Grove.

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