Woman dies from injuries after chain-reaction crash in Catawba County

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — A fiery chain-reaction crash involving three cars and a tractor-trailer killed a woman in Catawba County according to North Carolina Highway Patrol.

It happened around 11:30 p.m. Thursday on Highway 16 at Buffalo Shoals Road, troopers said. The driver of a Toyota Corolla entered the intersection at a red light, hitting a Honda Accord that was trying to make a left onto Highway 16, authorities said.

According to investigators, both cars were left disabled in the northbound lanes of Highway 16. Two minutes later, a Honda Civic heading in the same direction hit the Accord. The driver of the Civic was able to pull onto the shoulder.

Then, investigators said a tractor-trailer heading in the same direction hit both disabled cars, causing the truck and the Corolla to slide off the road and into power pole guidewires. The pole fell, hitting the tractor-trailer and causing it to catch fire.

The flames then spread to the Corolla, so the driver of the tractor-trailer and two people passing by helped get the driver out of the car.

The driver was flown to a Charlotte hospital with life-threatening injuries, troopers said. On Saturday, the driver of the Corolla died form her injuries, she was identified as 34-year-old, Julia Annice Chandler, from HIckory.

The driver of the Accord was taken to a local hospital but he was not seriously hurt, according to investigators.

The driver of the tractor-trailer and the driver of the Civic were not hurt.

More than 500 people in the area lost power in the meantime, but those outages were restored later on Friday.

Investigators don’t believe impairment was a factor in the crash but said charges in the case are pending an investigation.

The road was closed for about 8 hours.

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