5-car pileup blocks N.C. 18

Aug. 26, 2014 @ 06:20 AM

Two people were taken to the hospital Monday morning after a five-car accident on Morganton Boulevard in Gamewell that smashed a pickup and left the road littered with shattered glass and car parts.

Brandi Harris, 21, of U.S. 70 in Morganton was driving her 2003 Dodge pickup south on the road near Pineburr Road shortly before 8 a.m. when she hit the back of a black 1994 Toyota pickup driven by Kristen Hartley, 33, of Doe Hill Place in Lenoir, said Master Trooper K.W. Milligan of the N.C. Highway Patrol.

Milligan said Hartley’s truck was propelled into a 2006 Honda driven by Emma Wilkie, 33, of Madison Avenue in Boone, which then hit a 2014 Toyota Corolla driven by Connie Holder, 48, of N.C. 268, which then hit a 2015 Chrysler driven by Ashley Butler, 30, of Helton Hartley Place in Lenoir. Assistant Chief Michael Brewer of the Gamewell Volunteer Fire Department said he thought Butler was trying to turn onto Pineburr Road at the time she was hit.

Hartley, whose pickup bed and front end crumpled all the way to the cab of the pickup, was taken to Caldwell Memorial Hospital for injuries that Milligan described as "nothing terribly serious."

Wilkie was taken to CMH and treated for “superficial injuries of cuts and scrapes,” Milligan said.

Harris will be charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision, Milligan said. “The car at the very end hit the other, and it was domino effect. The one at the end is at fault. She failed to reduce her speed,” he said.

Multiple tow trucks were called out to remove the vehicles beginning just after 9 a.m. By 10 a.m., traffic was flowing normally.