Lexington woman killed, toddler thrown from car in three-vehicle crash on Interstate 85

Published 6:22 pm Friday, August 28, 2020

By Shavonne Potts

SALISBURY — A Lexington woman was killed and a toddler received minor injuries after a stranded vehicle was struck Thursday by a tractor-trailer and a pickup on Interstate 85 near the Davidson/Rowan County line.

Ebony Evans-Kindle, 31, who was driving a 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse, pulled to the right shoulder of the Yadkin River bridge with a flat tire awaiting help, according to N.C. State Highway Patrol Sgt. David Morgan. Evans-Kindle was killed in the ensuing crash. A 1-year-old girl who was in a child safety seat in the same vehicle was thrown onto the roadway while in the seat during the crash. A motorist said the car seat was overturned in the roadway.

Sometime before 8:30 p.m. a 2016 Kenworth tractor-trailer hauling a commercial mower was traveling south. A piece of the mower was sticking off the right side of the bed slightly, but the driver, Michael Moore, 42, was driving a permitted oversized load, Morgan said. The tractor-trailer struck the Mitsubishi, causing it to strike a guardrail and come to rest without any lights on and facing north in the far right lane.

A 2003 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Salisbury resident Will Kepley, 17, was also traveling south on I-85. Kepley’s truck struck the Mitsubishi head-on, causing the truck to overturn and come to rest in the roadway on its top, Morgan said. After the second collision, the Mitsubishi came to rest partially on the roadway of I-85.

Medical personnel pronounced Evans-Kindle deceased at the scene. It’s not believed that Kepley and a passenger were seriously injured.

Moore, the tractor-trailer driver, pulled his vehicle over on the shoulder of the road and reported the collision.

The investigating trooper determined alcohol and speed were not believed to be involved in the crash, Morgan said. Seat belts were worn by the drivers.

The Highway Patrol’s Motor Carrier Enforcement was on the scene and completed a commercial motor vehicle inspection of the 18-wheeler. The interstate was shut down by the accident for a period of time.

Ginger Parker, a passerby, saw the crash and stopped to help. Two other motorists stopped, too, she recalled. Parker said she initially walked by, not noticing the car seat on the road, to check on Evans-Kindle, who she could tell was trapped.

Parker said she looked down and spotted the overturned car seat.

“I could see her little feet sticking out just enough,” Parker said.

Parker, fearful at what she’d discover once the car seat was righted, braced herself.

“I saw a bloody foot,” Parker said.

A medic — one of those motorists who pulled over — carefully turned the car seat over.

Parker said the child did not cry and wasn’t making any noise but her eyes were fixed on Parker.

The medic was able to treat the severe road rash the child had on her leg and, Parker said, she recalled pulling shards of glass off the child’s body. The toddler also had a busted lip and was bleeding from the head area. The medic wrapped the child’s leg as Parker and another woman sang and stayed with the child, she said.

When a fireman showed up, the child let out a cry, Parker said. The firefighters took the child, who was still in the car seat, into a waiting ambulance.

Morgan confirmed the child was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He said it’s unclear the connection of the child to Evans-Kindle, but it’s not believed that she is the child’s mother.

Officials are awaiting confirmation of the mother’s identity.