The North Carolina Highway Patrol has revealed that a Dallas woman died following a two-vehicle crash on Saturday morning. Two other people suffered injuries.
Trooper Matthew Adams said 24-year-old Sebastian Lee Barnett was driving north on Old Dallas Highway in a Jeep Liberty when he went over the center line and crashed head-on into a southbound Honda Civic.
The crash happened just north of Gastonia around 8:17 a.m.
Sixty-six-year-old Dorothy S Pickelsimer of Dallas was a passenger in the Civic while her 64-year-old husband Douglas Pickelsimer was the driver. Both received serious injuries.
Adams said Dorothy Pickelsimer died while being taken for medical treatment, while Douglas was in critical condition when he was airlifted to Charlotte.
Witnesses reported seeing Barnett emerge from the SUV looking dazed after the crash. He ran into the nearby woods.
Gaston County Police later located him with the help of dogs.
He received bite wounds to his legs and was taken for treatment for that injury. He also got emergency surgery on his ruptured spleen and Adams said he was now in recovery.
The trooper said law enforcement officers are always immediately concerned with the safety of the individuals involved in a crash.
He noted that if anyone causes a wreck or gets involved in one, they must stop and make sure everyone is okay. He said officers believed Barnett failed to do so.
Barnett was charged with felony hit and run but he was not immediately booked into the Gaston County Jail. Other charges could be coming and the results of a toxicology report were outstanding.
Adams said Barnett was likely traveling at 55 miles per hour in a 45-mph zone, but he did not believe his speed played a major role in the crash.
If you suffer injuries in a car crash, seek advice from a North Carolina car accident attorney.