Lenoir woman killed in Gastonia wreck

Jul. 20, 2013 @ 03:14 PM

A 27-year-old Lenoir woman died Thursday night on U.S. 321 in Gastonia after slamming into the back of a Chevrolet Suburban hauling a trailer holding a Kubota tractor and a bushhog.

Ashley Danielle Watson of Old North Road was driving a pickup truck in the northbound lane shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday with her 6-year-old daughter, Alexis, and her 11-year-old niece, Makinzey Cox, when she struck the back of the trailer, N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper J.J. Waters said. Shortly afterward, a tractor-trailer rig struck the Chevrolet Suburban, driven by 26-year-old Michael Todd Whitener of Maiden, but did not hit the pickup, Waters said.

Ashley Watson suffered severe head trauma and died at the hospital, said Watson’s sister-in-law, Toie Watson.

Alexis and Makinzey were not seriously injured in the wreck but were taken to CaroMont Regional Medical Center. 

The accident is still being investigated, and charges against Whitener are being considered, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Ashley Watson graduated from West Caldwell High School in 2003 and was employed at Lenoir Health Care as a CNA, Toie said. Watson, a single mother, was nine weeks pregnant but was also suffering from kidney disease, Toie said.

“She had a great, bubbly personality, and was a wonderful person, she loved everybody,” Toie said.

The Watson family is trying to raise money for her funeral and burial; contact Toie Watson at 828-640-5078.