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Multiple Vehicles Involved In Catawba County Crash, Woman Critically Injured

A late night crash resulted in critical injuries to a Hickory woman. On Thursday (November 16), at approximately 11:30 p.m., the NC State Highway Patrol responded to NC 16 at Buffalo Shoals Road in Catawba County. The crash involved three passenger vehicles and a tractor-trailer.

A 2023 Toyota Corolla traveling north on NC 16, entered the intersection on a red light and struck a 2011 Honda Accord attempting to make a left turn from Buffalo Shoals Road onto NC 16. The collision caused both vehicles to become disabled in the northbound lanes of NC 16.

Approximately two minutes later, a 2010 Honda Civic, also traveling north on NC 16, struck the Accord. Following the collision, the driver of the Civic was able to pull off to a safe location on the shoulder of the roadway, away from the two disabled vehicles in the roadway.

A 2001 Peterbilt tractor-trailer traveling north on NC 16 then struck both disabled vehicles. The impact caused the tractor-trailer and the Corolla to travel off the right side of the road into utility guy wires supporting an electrical power pole. The pole fell, striking the tractor-trailer and causing it to become inflamed.

Flames spread to the Corolla. The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 71-year-old man from Tennessee, and two passersby responded, removing the driver of the Corolla, 34-year-old Julia Annice Chandler of Hickory, from the burning vehicle. Chandler was critically injured and transported by medical helicopter to Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, with life-threatening injuries.

The tractor-trailer driver was not injured, The driver of the Accord, a 21-year-old Newton man was transported by EMS to Catawba Valley Medical Center, with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Civic, a 61-year-old Newton woman was not injured.

The initial investigation does not indicate impairment to be a contributing factor. Upon completion of the ongoing investigation and consultation with the Catawba County District Attorney’s Office, charges are pending. The roadway was closed in the area for approximately eight hours, while utility crews restored the power lines.