Adaline Hullette was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte on Wednesday afternoon but died Thursday, said First Sgt. K. B. Joines with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Troopers say Cody Myers was traveling south on Henry River Road when the car he was driving, a Buick, crossed the double yellow line and collided with a 2006 Ford F250 driven by James Robert Abernathy, according to a witness and evidence at the scene. Abernathy, 65, of Hickory, was traveling north on the road at the time of the collision. The wreck happened around 1:40 p.m. Wednesday about a half-mile south of Interstate 40, according to troopers.
There were child restraint seats in the back seat of the Buick but they were ejected due to the severe damage from the impact, according to troopers on the scene and a release from Highway Patrol.
Trooper D. Lane said Myers has a suspended driver’s license due to failure to appear on a ticket from 2016.
Abernathy said he tried to dodge Myers when he saw him crossing the center line by pulling off the road into a ditch, but he wasn't able to prevent the crash.
“Both airbags deployed,” Abernathy said. “When I got out, I got to looking and saw those two toddlers in their car seats laying out in this yard. I looked at them and I knew it was very bad.”
Abernathy and a teenager in his vehicle received minor injuries, according to troopers.
A GoFundMe was set up to help the family with medical and funeral expenses. To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/hullettemyres-family
Thin Red Line Firearms in Hildebran will donate all profits from sales on Friday toward funeral expenses, according to a post on the company’s Facebook page. It will also collect donations for the family.
“This tragedy should not have happened, but now that it has it has left parents and grandparents behind heartbroken and (having to) pay the expenses of their loved ones,” the post said.
The State Highway Patrol Collision Reconstruction Unit responded to the scene to assist in the ongoing investigation. Burke County EMS and Burke REACT also responded to the scene.