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February 25, 2024

One airlifted in head-on NC 16 crash

A head-on collision is being blamed on a driver falling asleep at the wheel, according to state authorities.

Master Trooper Jeffrey S. Swagger of the N.C. State Highway Patrol related that on Monday, March 21, 2022, at approximately 8:00 a.m., the N.C. State Highway Patrol responded to and investigated an injury collision in Alexander County on NC 16 near Silas Deal Road. A 2018 Mazda 6 was traveling north on NC 16, crossed the centerline, ran off the road to the left, struck a guardrail, and collided head-on with a southbound 2019 Toyota Rav4. The Mazda became fully involved in a post-crash fire.

The driver of the Mazda, Corey Burkhart, 24, of Wilkesboro, received minor injuries and was transported by EMS to Wilkes Medical Center in North Wilkesboro. The initial investigation indicates he fell asleep while driving.

The driver of the Toyota, Teresa Combs, 60, of North Wilkesboro, was critically injured. She was transported to the hospital from the scene by medical helicopter.

The roadway was closed in the area for approximately three hours. Charges are pending in the ongoing investigation, said Swagger.

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