December 10, 2017

Two injured in nighttime ATV crash

Two women were severely injured recently when the four-wheeler they were riding overturned on a road in northeast Alexander County.

The incident occurred about 11:30 p.m. on Friday, September 8, 2017, on Dishmon Family Drive, off Center Church Road, in Hiddenite, according to Trooper T.C. Hayes of the N.C. State Highway Patrol.

Tonya Billings, age 36 of Sloan Road, Statesville (an Alexander County address), was operating a Polaris 570cc ATV, with Angela Harmon, age 42 of Green Meadows Drive, Taylorsville, as passenger, the Trooper stated.

The four-wheeler was being driven around a curve when the left rear wheel dug into gravel, causing the ATV to overturn, and both women were thrown from the vehicle. Relatives found the women very soon after the crash happened and summoned help.

Hiddenite Volunteer Fire Department members, the Alexander Rescue Squad, Alexander County Sheriff’s Office, and First Sgt. B.T. Owenby of the State Highway Patrol responded to the scene, as did Trooper Hayes.

Hayes noted that both women had severe injuries. Medical helicopters from Baptist AirCare and Carolinas Medical Center landed at the Gwaltney Community Ballfield. One helicopter transported Billings to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem and the other flew Harmon there as well.

Hayes noted that speed was a factor in the wreck. He estimated the ATV was traveling 30-35 miles per hour at the time of the wreck.

The trooper also indicated that the ATV was being operated on a state maintained road, which is illegal. Citations are pending in this incident. Billings and Harmon were not wearing helmets.

On September 10, Billings was on a ventilator and Harmon was about to be intubated, Hayes was told by family members.

Later, on September 22, a Baptist Hospital spokesperson told The Times that Billings was listed in good condition. The trooper said Harmon had been discharged from the hospital and is now at home.

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