On Thursday, there was a fatal two-car crash in Mitchell County. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened on NC 226 in Spruce Pine, sometime before noon. A Ford Focus was headed north when it reportedly crossed the center lane. The Focus struck a southbound van, head on. The Focus driver, John Casteel of Burnsville, was killed in the crash. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the wreck. At this time, there has been no word on why the Focus crossed the center lane.

Three Injured in Mitchell County Crash

A passenger in the Focus was airlifted to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries. Although there has been no word on that person’s current condition, he or she was expected to be okay. Another two passengers that were in the van were also transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of injuries. No information has been released on anybody’s current condition or the extent of injuries involved.

U.S. Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics

  • In 2012, more than 2.2 million adult drivers and passengers were treated in emergency rooms for car crash injuries.
  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teens.
  • Young adults (18-24 years old) have the highest crash-related injury rates of all ages.
  • 55 percent of teens who died in car crashes in 2012 were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
  • Adults who live in rural areas are 10 percent less likely to wear seat belts than adults in urban and suburban areas.

NHTSA on Seat Belt Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is continuing to remind motorists this summer and all year long to buckle up for every trip. Whether you’re going across town or across North Carolina, buckling up is the single most effective way to protect yourself in the event of a car accident. Parents and caregivers are also reminded to make sure their child passenger occupants are properly secured in age and size appropriate car seats before hitting the road.

The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. sends their deepest condolences to Casteel’s family members and friends and wishes speedy and full recoveries for everybody recovering from the Mitchell County wreck.