caleb soloman

By Dave Russell


A Sylva man riding a motorcycle in Tuckasegee last Monday died in a head-on collision with a truck. 

A call came to responding N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Brook Sanders at 6:23 p.m. about a wreck in a curve on N.C. 107 about 4/10 of a mile north of the East LaPorte River Access.

Caleb Nicholas Solomon, 28, of Sylva, was traveling south on a 2015 Honda motorcycle when he drifted into the northbound lane.

“He was traveling down the road at an estimated 60 mph in the 45 mph zone there,” according to NCHP Sgt. Michael Owens, relaying information for the vacationing Sanders. “He crossed the center line and struck the truck head on, just dead center on the truck.”

Traveling northbound in the 2001 Dodge Ram pickup was Vernon Tracy Henson, 59, of Cullowhee. 

According to Sanders’ collision report, Solomon struck Henson’s truck at 60 mph.

Following impact, the motorcycle traveled left off the road into the ditch, while Henson’s truck veered left across the southbound lane and stopped on the shoulder of the road.

Solomon died on scene. He was wearing a N.C. Department of Transportation compliant helmet, Sanders wrote.

“He had very substantial blunt force trauma injuries,” Owens said.

Henson was not injured and had no passengers. Sanders estimated his speed to be 45 mph before the accident and at the time of impact.

There were no indications of braking by either driver. Weather was not a factor.

According to the collision report, Sanders suspected Henson to be under the influence of impairing substances.

A test was administered. Sanders’ report indicates results are pending, but she charged him with driving while impaired.

Harris EMS transported Solomon to Appalachian Funeral Services and Henson to Harris Regional Hospital.

According to his obituary, Solomon was the son of Kenneth Solomon and the late Sandra Warren. He was engaged to Brittany Rigdon and had a daughter, Harper Lynn Solomon.

Rigdon has established a gofundme to pay for funeral expenses. It can be found by searching “memorial for Caleb” on