CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A Hickory woman who was rescued from a burning vehicle following a fiery crash involving a tractor-trailer on NC 16 in Catawba County has since passed away.
NC State Highway Patrol said the serious accident happened at 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, on NC 16 at Buffalo Shoals Road. The wreck involved three vehicles and a tractor-trailer.
Troopers said a 2023 Toyota Corolla on NC 16, entered the intersection on a red light and struck a 2011 Honda Accord that was trying to make a left turn from Buffalo Shoals Road onto NC 16.
The crash caused both vehicles to become disabled in the northbound lanes of NC 16.
Roughly two minutes later, a 2012 Honda Civic struck both of the disabled vehicles. The Civic was able to pull off to a safe location on the shoulder, away from the disabled vehicles, troopers said. A fourth vehicle, a 2011 Peterbilt tractor-trailer, then struck both disabled vehicles.
The impact caused the tractor-trailer and the Corolla to travel off the right side of the road, and into utility wires, supporting an electrical power pole.
Highway Patrol said the pole fell, striking the tractor-trailer, and catching it on fire. The flames then spread to the Corolla.
The driver of the tractor-trailer, identified as Richard Miles, 71, of Rockwood, TN, and two passersby responded, and helped rescue the woman inside the Corolla, Julia Annice Chandler, 34, of Hickory, and removed her from the burning vehicle, troopers said.
Miles was not injured in the collision. Chandler was flown to Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte with life-threatening injuries. Two days later, on Saturday, November 18, Chandler died from her injuries.
Troopers said the driver of the Accord, identified as Christopher David Hernandez, 21, of Newton, was taken to Catawba Valley Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Civic, Teressa Elaine Glenn, 61, of Newton, was not harmed in the crash.
The road was closed for about eight hours from Thursday night into Friday morning, while utility crews restored the power lines.
NC State Highway Patrol said charges are pending in this crash.