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Two Killed in Thursday A.M. Crash in Burke County

At about 11:45 this morning (November 2), the North Carolina State Highway Patrol responded to a fatal collision in Burke County on I-40 West near Old N.C. Highway 10 (Exit 118). Two people were killed. They are 44-year-old Ryan Lee Childers and his wife, 44-year-old Melissa Louise Childers, both from Valdese.

The accident occurred as a westbound 2009 Honda Odyssey was traveling on I-40 when the driver, Ryan Childers, failed to adequately reduce speed and collided with a 2020 Freightliner tractor-trailer that was slowing down in the right lane due to traffic.

Mr. Childers and the only passenger in the Honda, Melissa Childers, both passed away at the scene. Neither occupant was restrained by a seatbelt. The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 57-year-old man from Enville, Tennessee, was not injured.

The Highway Patrol’s initial investigation does not indicate impairment to be a contributing factor. During the on-scene investigation, I-40 was closed in the area for approximately two hours. No charges will be filed.