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May 6, 2021

Victim of Kannapolis wreck identified

Staff report
KANNAPOLIS ó A man crashed into a utility pole and died after fleeing from a traffic stop early Monday, police said.
Police identified the victim as Orlando Valdina Lawson, 46, of Psalms Street.
Minutes before the fatal crash, a Kannapolis officer had stopped Lawson at the intersection of Mable and Lane streets around 4 a.m.
Kannapolis Police declined to name the officer.
Suspecting the use of alcohol, the officer used a sobriety test on Lawson, who remained in the car.
Capt. Pat Patty said when the officer advised Lawson he was under arrest, Lawson drove off, going east on Lane Street.
The officer ran back to his cruiser and drove east on Lane Street, but never saw the fleeing vehicle, police said.
A short time later, as the officer approached the intersection of Interstate 85 and Lane Street, he saw a motorist’s flashing lights.
The officer continued to the scene, where the motorist had seen the car leave the road and strike a utility pole on Lane Street near its intersection with Turkey Road, according to the police report.
The 1994 Cadillac Lawson was driving ran off the right shoulder of the roadway. The Cabarrus County Highway Patrol said Lawson overcorrected, ran across the left side of the road, hit a fence and then struck the utility pole.
The pole crashed down onto Lawson’s vehicle.
Trooper E.K. Wooten of the N.C. Highway Patrol investigated the accident, which happened outside the Kannapolis city limits.

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