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State Police have identified the two people killed in a weekend motorcycle accident west of Boones Mill in Franklin County. Troopers say the bike left Bethlehem Road Sunday night, went down an embankment into a ditch and caught fire. Police say both the driver, Jesse Stapleton of Rocky Mount, and passenger Rodney Craighead of Lynchburg died at the scene.

NEWS RELEASE: Virginia State Police Senior Trooper A.J Berry is investigating a motorcycle crash which resulted in two fatalities.  The crash occurred Sunday (Sept 1) at 10:35 p.m. on Route 739, two tenths of a mile east of Route 986 in Franklin County. A 2007 Kawasaki Ninja was traveling east on Route 739, when the motorcycle ran off the right side of the roadway, down an embankment into a ditch; and caught fire.

The driver of the Kawasaki, Jesse Mackinley Stapleton, 25, of Rocky Mount, VA, was wearing his helmet and died at the scene.  The passenger Rodney Calvin Craighead, Jr., 19, of Lynchburg, VA was not wearing his helmet and also died at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.

PREVIOUS: Boones Mill Fire and EMS officials say two people were killed when their motorcycle left a Franklin County roadway, struck a deep ditch and caught fire.The department’s Facebook site says it happened last night on Bethlehem Road west of the town. The post says State Police are handling the investigation, and at last check, they have not yet released further details.

From Boones Mill Fire & EMS Facebook: Approximately 10:30 pm last night, Boones Mill volunteers were dispatched to a vehicle fire on Bethlehem Road near Saul Lane. Upon our arrival we found that a motorcycle had run off the right side of the road striking a deep ditch and catching fire. Tragically, two victims died in the crash. We offer our most sincere condolences to family and friends of the two victims. The Virginia State Police are handing the investigation. We also want to acknowledge the work of our volunteers, career staff and chaplain during this difficult time.