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A North Carolina State Trooper is speaking out about elderly driver safety after a couple of fatal wrecks in the Asheville area. According to WLOS ABC NEWS Channel 13, two of the more recent wrecks occurred in Transylvania County. One crash involved an 82-year-old driver crossing the centerline of Highway 276, and another crash involved a 68-year-old driver who fell asleep behind the wheel. North Carolina State Trooper William Hemphill is quick to point out that senior driver safety isn’t about just taking away the keys anymore. It’s about making safe decisions behind the wheel. He spoke about measures to reduce risk for elder drivers, which could include avoiding long trips, driving in the rain, unprotected left turns and heavy traffic.

Older Driver Safety

Over the next two decades, the population of people ages 65 years and older is expected to reach 70 million, so addressing the safety risks facing elder drivers needs to be a top priority. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers older drivers and their family members a variety of resources, including a Drive Well Toolkit. If you plan on having ‘the talk’ with somebody you love, it’s important to remember that driving means independence for senior citizens.

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On Monday night, one person was killed and another was seriously injured in a Transylvania County head-on collision. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened sometime after 5:00 p.m. on U.S. 276. Very few details have been released about this deadly crash, but we do know that a red Nissan and a cable truck were involved. According to officials with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, a resident in the area suddenly crossed the centerline and then struck the cable truck head on.

Driver Airlifted to Mission Hospital

A passenger riding in the Nissan died on the scene, and the driver was airlifted to Mission Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. The cable truck ended up in a ditch, but thankfully, the driver was able to walk away from the scene. At this time, we do not know the current condition of the injured Nissan driver or the extent of injuries involved. Although State Troopers said that the weather was not a factor in this deadly wreck, there’s been no word on why the Nissan driver crossed the centerline. First responders and crews had to close the highway for about three hours as they worked the scene.

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Last Thursday night, a hit-and-run driver fatally struck a 36-year-old moped rider. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened near the Good News Baptist Church on Smokey Park Highway. An Asheville woman, 21-year-old Delilah Wilson, struck the moped from behind and then left the scene.

Hit-and-Run Driver Fled Crash Scene

The moped rider, Robert Jason Miller, died as a result of his injuries in the crash, and Wilson was picked up a few miles from the scene. Although very few details about the wreck were released, we do know that Wilson was charged with felony hit and run.

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Teen driving safety needs to be a top priority in Asheville and across the country. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers. Thankfully, most car accidents are totally preventable. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a variety of great tips for parents and teens, including safety guidelines, “5 to Drive” rules and educational content. Talking to teens about their risk factors behind the wheel and how to avoid preventable accidents is a great place to start.

Teen Driving Facts

• In 2011, about 2,650 teens, between the ages of 16 and 19, were killed in car crashes.

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On Tuesday, a crash on New Leicester Highway took the life of one man and sent two others to the hospital. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened at about 2:30 p.m., between Oak Hill and Heritage Drive. Apparently, 23-year-old Devon Aaron Forester pulled out of the parking lot of Hot Spot and into the path of a delivery truck. Although the truck driver attempted to avoid the car by swerving, he struck Forester’s vehicle.

Forester was killed in the crash and his passenger suffered from serious injuries. Additionally, the truck driver was also injured in the crash. Crews had to close New Leicester Highway for a few hours as they worked the scene.

The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. sends their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Forester and wishes the injured victims speedy and full recoveries.

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Early Sunday morning, a crash involving a semi truck sent at least two people to the hospital. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened sometime around 4:30 A.M. in the westbound lanes of I-26, near the Long Shoals Road exit (Exit 37). For currently unknown reasons, an SUV collided with the large commercial truck. Both occupants inside of the SUV had to be taken to Mission Hospital for treatment of injuries. The driver of the 18-wheeler was not injured in the crash.

Tractor Trailer Crash in Asheville

As they cleared the scene, first responders and other crews had to shut down an area of Interstate 26 in South Asheville. At this time, very few details about the crash have been released. We do not know how or why the crash happened. Wrecks involving commercial trucks often take additional investigative efforts due to the federal safety regulations involved.

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On Wednesday, Buncombe County and other counties across North Carolina participated in Stop Arm Violation Count Day. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, bus drivers were asked to pay special attention to any drivers illegally passing school buses while their stop arms were extended. Although it seems obvious, drivers should not be passing stopped school buses where children are loading and unloading. Buncombe County alone averages about 70 violations every day.

Since 1999, drivers illegally passing stopped school buses have killed 14 students in North Carolina. Thankfully, many buses are now outfitted with cameras that could lead to improved enforcement of illegal passing.

If your child has been injured in a school bus accident or while getting on or off a school bus, contact the skilled legal team at Davis Law Group, P.A. at 866-397-2897 for a free consultation.

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Last Friday, a worker was killed on a worksite in Rutherford County. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened sometime around 11:45 a.m. at a Sisk Grading Site. Apparently, the worker, Blake Luckadoo, was somehow thrown from a machine he was running. Very few details have been released, but we do know that a fellow employee found Luckadoo, unresponsive. Luckadoo was pronounced dead on the scene by first responders.

Daniel Road Grading Site

The grading site was off Daniel Road in Forest City. Workers in the 14-person company, Sisk Grading, were pretty shaken up after the deadly incident. Luckadoo had worked for the company for almost 10 years. There’s no word on how this terrible incident could have happened, and it is likely under investigation with authorities.

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On Monday evening, a teen was seriously injured in a crash involving a suspected drunk driver in Anderson County. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, Breyona Williams had to be air lifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital from the crash scene on Highway 76 in Pendleton. Williams left the Dairy Queen in Pendleton sometime around 8:30 p.m., just before the wreck. She only got a few miles down the road when her car and 52-year-old Ted Arrowood’s truck collided.

At this time, the crash is still under investigation with law enforcement officers. Arrowood was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. There’s no word on Williams’ current condition or the extent of her injuries, but at the most recent report, she was fighting for her life.

The whole team at Davis Law Group, P.A. wishes Williams a full and swift recovery from her injuries.

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A crash in Polk County is reminding drivers about the importance of observing all signs and signals on the roadway. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the wreck happened midday on Tuesday. Apparently, a driver cut through an area that’s designated for official use only. The driver of a Chevrolet Impala attempted to turn left through an official-use only access way and collided with a Jeep Liberty headed east on I-26. The Jeep overturned and rolled several times.

Three People Injured in I-26 Crash

At least one person was taken to Mission Hospital, and two others were taken to Pardee Hospital. Law enforcement officers want to remind drivers that the cut-throughs are for official vehicles, emergency response vehicles and other first responders on official duty only. While it may look like a tempting short cut, it’s an unsafe and unlawful idea. Traditional motorists don’t have the skills or training to comprehend the speed of oncoming traffic in these areas, so it makes using this type of cut-through dangerous, or even deadly.