At approximately 1:41 p.m. Friday, emergency units and law enforcement responded to I-40 East near exit 75 after receiving reports of motor vehicle accident. According to Trooper James Deaton of the NC Highway Patrol, the 1997 Mercury SUV – driven by Clifford Smith of Morganton – was traveling eastbound on the interstate when his vehicle struck a guardrail and overturned numerous times. As a result, eastbound traffic between exit 72 and 75 was delayed or shut down for close to an hour. Smith was transported to Grace Hospital in Morganton under stable condition, according to Emergency Services Director William Kehler.
McDowell voters cast 9,456 against the increase while only 4,580 gave their support.