Child killed

A young boy lost his life this morning on U.S. 421 Business in North Wilkesboro when this Toyota Tacoma pickup truck hit the rear of a stopped Toyota Camry. The driver of the pickup truck, Todd Ray Blackburn, 33, of Roaring River, was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem for treatment.

A young boy from Concord was killed in a rear-end collision late this morning (Wednesday) on U.S. 421 Business in North Wilkesboro at the intersection with Brickyard Road, according to Officer Jonathan Hayes of the North Wilkesboro Police Department.

Brylan Coward, 10, was a passenger in a 2001 Toyota Camry driven by the Rev. Lewis Howard Hall Jr., 57, of North Wilkesboro, Hayes said. He was in the right rear seat of the vehicle and was wearing a seatbelt, the officer said.

Hall is the pastor of the Church of God on Hinshaw Street, North Wilkesboro Police Chief Joe Rankin said. He declined treatment at the scene.

Two other children, both in car seats in the rear of the vehicle, were taken to Wilkes Regional Medical Center by Wilkes EMS. They are Bradin Thompson, 8, and Bryson Thompson, 4, both of China Grove, Rankin said. Hall’s wife, Kathy Hall, 58, was also taken to WRMC.

Hall was traveling west around 11:15 a.m. when he stopped for traffic ahead at a stoplight and was hit from behind by a 2004 Toyota Tundra pickup truck driven by Todd Ray Blackburn, 33, of Roaring River, Hayes said. The severe collision left the front of the pickup truck on top of the Camry’s trunk.

Brylan Coward, fatally injured, was trapped in the wreckage of the Toyota Camry and had to be removed by Wilkes Rescue Squad personnel.

The impact forced the front of the Hall vehicle into the rear of a 2014 Honda driven by Burl Huffman, 72, of Wilkesboro, Rankin said.

Blackburn was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center by Wilkes EMS, Hayes said. North Wilkesboro first responders and firemen provided assistance at the scene.

Hayes was assisted at the scene by Rankin and others from the police department, including Major Scott Teague, Capt. Randy Bennett and Capt. David Johnson.

U.S. 421 Business was blocked in both directions while the emergency effort was under way.

North Wilkesboro’s last fatality was in 2010 on N.C. 18 North, Rankin noted.

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