One person died and others were injured in a motor vehicle accident with two collisions about 7 p.m. Saturday on N.C. 16 in Alexander County’s Sugar Loaf community, less than a mile south of the Wilkes County line.
The driver of a southbound 1994 Cadillac Deville died at the scene as a result of his car crossing the centerline on N.C. 16 and colliding head-on with a northbound 2010 Hyundai passenger car, said Master Trooper Jeffrey Swagger of the N.C. Highway Patrol.
Swagger identified the driver who died as Bobby Harris Lowe, 76, of Sugar Loaf. He said Lowe was wearing a seatbelt and that the initial investigation didn’t indicate impairment as a contributing factor. Lowe was a longtime apple grower and owner of Sugarloaf Orchard.
Thomas Eller, 48, of Wilkesboro was driving the Hyundai, which hit the guardrail after the collision with the Cadillac and came to rest partially in the roadway.
Swagger said a passenger in the Hyundai, Chasity Wyatt, 35, of Moravian Falls, had exited the car and was attempting to assist an 8-year-old female passenger in the back seat when a northbound Ford pickup collided with the Hyundai. He said Wyatt was struck by the vehicle and propelled over the guardrail.
The driver of the Ford pickup, David Privette of Purlear, was unable to see the crashed vehicles due to their damage, the dark roadway and foggy conditions, said Swagger.
He said Eller, Wyatt and the 8-year-old child were seriously injured and were transported by Wilkes Emergency Medical Services to Wilkes Medical Center in North Wilkesboro. Swagger said Privette received minor injuries and wasn’t taken to a hospital.
The wreck occurred near where Old Davis Road intersects with N.C. 16, close to the foot of the mountain. Nearby residents said fog was extremely thick in that area at the time of the wreck.
N.C. 16 was closed to traffic for about four hours during the investigation of the wreck, said the trooper.
Moravian Falls Fire Chief Kimi Hamby said his department was dispatched to N.C. 16 near Central Wilkes Middle School to divert southbound motorists wanting to take N.C. 16 to Taylorsville to instead go south on N.C. 18 to Lenoir, and from there on N.C. 64 to Taylorsville.
Hamby said Moravian Falls firefighters diverted traffic in this way until about midnight.