VALDESE — A man was seriously injured after a motorcycle crash near McGalliard Falls on Friday afternoon. 

Michael Ray Cook, 56, of Morganton, was travelling on a motorcycle on Falls Road toward Church Street Northwest near Meytre Avenue when he crossed the center line and hit a van at around 2:40 p.m., said Trooper B.B. Clark with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. 

The collision sent the van down an embankment, Clark said.

Cook had to be airlifted to another hospital from Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge-Valdese with serious injuries, Clark said. The driver of the van, Frances Tate, was taken to the CHS Blue Ridge-Valdese in a privately owned vehicle.

Speed was a factor in the crash, Clark said. A witness to the crash told him it looked like Cook was going about 50 mph. The speed limit on that stretch of road is 35 mph.

Cook was charged with driving left of center and reckless driving, Clark said.

Triple Community Fire Department, Valdese Police Department and Drexel Police Department all responded along with NCSHP and Burke County EMS.

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Chrissy Murphy is a staff writer and can be reached at or at 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphyMNH on Twitter.

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