November 21, 2019

Hiddenite woman dies in I-40 crash

Julie Anne Eason Jenkins

A Hiddenite woman passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, October 31, 2019, after an automobile accident.

The collision occurred approximately 5:00 p.m. on I-40 East near the 110 mile-marker.  A UPS tractor-trailer was traveling east in the right lane when it came upon stopped traffic, due to an earlier collision.  A pickup truck was stopped in the right lane and a Honda passenger car was stopped in the left lane.  The tractor trailer collided with the pickup and then traveled into the left lane and collided with the Honda.  Both vehicles struck the median barrier.  The pickup was pushed off the road to the right, according to Master Trooper Jeffrey S. Swagger of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

The Honda was driven by Julie Anne Jenkins, 47, of Hiddenite.  Ms. Jenkins was in critical condition at the scene and then pronounced dead at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory.

Alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the collision.

UPDATE Nov. 12, 2019: According to Swagger, Cody Andrew Bess, 26, of Morganton, driver of the tractor trailer, has been charged with Misdemeanor Death by Vehicle and Failing to Reduce Speed to Avoid a Collision. Bess was charged by criminal summons and met the investigating Trooper at the magistrate’s office.

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