Driver of vehicle also taken to hospital

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 30, 2013

Two people, one a former China Grove employee, were taken to the hospital following a head-on collision on North Franklin Street, not far from the police station. The crash occurred just before noon today.
Kimberly Hope Rayfield, 27, of Maiden, was traveling in the 100 block of North Franklin Street when her Toyota crossed the center lane. She struck a Chevrolet pickup parked in front of a home there. A trailer was attached to the pickup and was pushed a few feet backward and struck former China Grove Public Works employee Kent Mishak, 58, of Rockwell.
The force of the impact knocked Mishak to the ground, causing serious head injuries. Both were taken to Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast. A helicopter landing zone had been set up, but there were no flights available. Mishak and Rayfield were both taken by ambulance. Mishak was transferred to to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte where he remains in the intensive care unit with bleeding on the brain, said China Grove wreck reconstructionist R.M. Helms.
Helms said Rayfield will be charged with driving while impaired and driving left of center.
Helms said when officers arrived Rayfield was outside the vehicle and lying on the sidewalk. It is unclear at this time if she was ejected or removed herself from the vehicle. Alcohol is not a factor, Helms said, but officials are testing whether Rayfield was impaired by another substance.
He said Mishak, who had just finished mowing a lawn, was packing up his riding mower, when the accident occurred. Mishak, who retired from the Public Utilities Department about two years ago, was employed by the town for 30 years.
“We want to make sure there were no vehicle defects, but initially it doesn’t appear to be any,” he said.
The investigation will continue.