MACON, Ga. -- Guitarist Duane Allman, leader of the Allman Brothers rock band and one-time accompanist for Aretha Franklin, died Friday night when his motorcycle collided with a truck.
The 24-year-old musician was pronounced dead at 8:40 p.m. at the Medical Center of Central Georgia here a little over two hours after he had been admitted with severe head and chest injuries. His crash helmet had been torn off in the accident.
The driver of the truck, Charles Wertz, told police he had just finished making a turn on a city street when "I saw a motorcycle about 20 feet behind my truck. I slowed and heard a crash.
"I saw a boy lying on the pavement with a cycle (overturned and) going as fast as it could. I walked over and shut it off." No charges were brought against Wertz.
Allman, born in Nashville, Tenn., had traveled to Florida and the West Coast before settling the past three years in this central Georgia city.
His death came just as the band was preparing to leave on a tour of New England, with the final performance scheduled for New York City's Carnegie Hall.
The Allman Brothers' third album won a gold record award for sales of more than $1 million.