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Woman Killed In Burke County Crash

A Burke County woman was killed in a crash Friday (May 24). The deceased is 42-year-old Lori Jean Ward of Connelly Springs.

On Friday at approximately 5:00 p.m., the North Carolina State Highway Patrol responded to Rhodhiss Road near Brown Circle.  A 2016 Toyota Tacoma was traveling west on Rhodhiss Road, crossed the centerline, and collided head-on with an eastbound 1997 Kia Sportage.

The driver of the Tacoma, a Valdese resident, was transported by EMS to UNC Health Blue Ridge in Morganton, with minor injuries. The driver of the Sportage, Lori Jean Ward passed away as a result of her injuries at the scene. Ward was not restrained by a seatbelt.

Rhodhiss Road was closed in the area for approximately two hours during the on-scene investigation. The initial investigation indicates speed and alcohol were not contributing factors in the collision. Upon completing the ongoing investigation and consultation with the Burke County District Attorney’s Office, charges are pending.