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Asheville woman dies in head-on crash in Catawba County

Asheville woman dies in head-on crash in Catawba County

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An Asheville woman died in a crash Monday morning on Interstate 40 near the Rock Barn Road exit in Catawba County.

The vehicle Sarah Ann McKinney, 47, was operating was struck twice, said North Carolina Highway Patrol Master Trooper Jeff Swagger.

Swagger said McKinney likely survived the initial crash but was killed when a second vehicle hit her Honda Pilot.

The 2013 Pilot, Swagger said, was traveling east on I-40 when it went off the road, struck a guardrail in the median and then hit the guardrail on the south side of the road. It came to rest facing the wrong way on the interstate.

A 2019 Honda Odyssey, driven by Thomas Casey, 60, of Hickory, struck the Pilot head-on, Swagger said. Casey was taken to Catawba Valley Medical Center via Catawba County EMS with non-life threatening injuries.

Swagger said family members indicated McKinney was traveling with her 8-month-old dog, which is missing. Troopers looked for the white dog with blue eyes along the interstate to no avail. Anyone who locates the dog is asked to contact the highway patrol at 1-800-445-1779 or Catawba County Animal Control at 828-466-6814.

Swagger said troopers consulted with the district attorney’s office and no charges will be filed.

The crash closed the eastbound lanes of I-40 from about 3:45 to 6 a.m. Monday.

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