A man died and two others were injured in a two-vehicle collision Saturday evening at the intersection of U.S. 421 West and South Recreation Road in the Mount Pleasant community.
The person who died was the driver of an eastbound Jeep Wrangler with a soft top that went off the south side of U.S. 421 and 80-90 feet down an embankment just east of South Recreation Road, said Champion Fire and Rescue Chief Craig Hollar.
Sgt. S.R. Hargrove of the N.C. Highway Patrol identified the driver of Jeep as William Stacey Mahaffey, 46, of Statesville.
A female passenger in the Jeep was injured and had to be freed and then carried up the slope of the embankment, said Hollar, adding that she was transported by AirCare helicopter to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. Her name wasn’t immediately available.
Hargrove said the Toyota, driven by Claudia Tobey, 67, of Wilkesboro, was westbound on U.S. 421 when it turned left to go on South Recreation Road and failed to see the oncoming eastbound Jeep driven by Mahaffey and turned into the path of the Jeep.
Hargrove said Jeep collided with the Toyota, ran off the road, went down the embankment, struck a tree and overturned. He said Mahaffey died at the scene.
Hollar said a person in the other vehicle, a Toyota Camry, had a broken femur and was transported by Wilkes Emergency Medical Services. Identification of that person wasn’t immediately available.
The wreck occurred about 6:15 p.m. and resulted in traffic on U.S. 421 being blocked in both directions until about 10 p.m. Eastbound traffic was especially heavy due to people returning from visiting the Boone area during the fall leaf color season.
Traffic was detoured using Boiling Springs Road, Hamby Mountain Road and Pilgrim Baptist Church Road on the north side of U.S. 421. The Cricket Fire Department assisted with traffic control when it was detoured.
Millers Creek Fire and Rescue and the Wilkes Rescue Squad also were on the scene.