Police: Woman dies after accident involving deputy's car

by: Ken Lemon Updated:

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SHELBY, N.C. —

A woman died after a crash involving a deputy Wednesday in Shelby, according to officials.
 
Deputy Dustin Skinner was involved with a two-car collision around 5:17 p.m. near the intersection of South DeKalb Street and Lawrence Street.
 
Skinner was driving a 2013 Dodge marked patrol car. Patricia Whisnant Ellis, 74, of Shelby, was driving a 2000 Honda. Ellis died at the hospital.
 
Skinner was treated and released from Cleveland Regional Medical Center.

A witness told Channel 9 the deputy’s car hit Ellis’ car on the driver’s side.

Neighbor Henry Emmanuel said he saw the crash.

"His cruiser went two and a-half feet in the air when it hit,” he said. "It sound like a doggone cannon went off.  It happened so quick."

Skinner was on his way to training.

Sheriff Alan Norman said according to early indications the deputy did nothing wrong, but the sheriff wouldn't say more about the crash because Shelby Police are investigating it.

Neighbors tell us they are used to seeing crashes here.

"Constant traffic.  Steady traffic.  People coming in and out of their driveways,” said Adrian Lovelace.

They're used to seeing patrol cars respond to accidents, not being involved in them.

Skinner has been employed with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office at December 2013.
 
Shelby Police Department and North Carolina Highway Patrol are investigating the accident.

Norman said based on information he heard about the wreck, he sees no reason why Skinner would not return to work once he recovers.

Norman said he also sent his condolences to Ellis’ family.