Update: GoFundMe account set up for Montreat coach injured in high-speed accident in downtown Black Mountain
A GoFundMe account for Britten Olinger, the Montreat College track and field coach who sustained life-threatening injuries in a Feb. 27 crash in downtown Black Mountain, has raised $44,355 of its $50,000 goal in less than 24 hours.
The page, created by Olinger's sister, Nancy Quesenberry, has received contributions from nearly 700 people.
Quesenberry says on the page that injuries suffered by Olinger include a severed spinal cord, a fractured pelvis/lower back, a traumatic lung injury and a small brain bleed. Mission Health said it no longer releases patient condition reports.
Quesenberry adds that her brother “will never walk again.” The page also states that Olinger has a 10-month-old daughter and that money raised will be used to “support his wife, Samantha and baby girl, Kolbie,” as well as “cover surgical costs, hospital bills and travel expenses.”
The page can be found at gofundme.com/brittenstrong.
Lt. Rob Austin, the interim chief of the Black Mountain Police Department, said in an email that the department would not release new information on Wednesday.
“This is still under investigation,” he said. “(There’s) a lot of work to be done.”
Olinger suffered what Montreat College director of communications Adam Caress referred to as "life-threatening" injuries as a result of the impact.
Olinger is in his first season with Montreat, where he was offered the position after spending five years coaching at Eastern Mennonite University. Olinger is a graduate of University of Virginia-Wise, where he began his coaching career.
He moved with his family to the area in July to begin working at Montreat College.
The accident occurred Monday night at the intersection of State Street and N.C. 9. Olinger and another person were sent to Mission Hospital with serious injuries.
The speed of the car driven by Kyle Carney was a factor in the collision, according to a press release from the Black Mountain Police Department.
The release states that Carney, driving a 2015 Nissan Altima, was traveling west on Interstate 40 before exiting at a “high rate of speed.” The vehicle Carney was driving sped west on U.S. 70 and struck another vehicle as it was entering the intersection of State Street and N.C. 9., according to the department.
The force from the collision resulted in the both vehicles striking three nearby vehicles. Debris from those secondary collisions resulted in extensive window damage to the Town Hardware & General Store at 103 W. State St.
Town Hardware had closed an hour prior to the 6:56 p.m. crash. Boards were put up in place of several broken windows in the hours after the collision. The business was open on Feb. 28.
Carney was charged with careless and reckless driving and other related traffic offenses.
Debris from the collision also caused extensive window damage to Town Hardware, a local hardware and general store that opened in 1928.
Town Hardware owner Peter Ballhaussen said the business was open Tuesday with limited access.
"Glass was shattered from all of our front windows and doors," he said. "But no one was here, which was a blessing because it probably would have injured some folks."
The store's burglar alarm went off as a result of the crash prompting Ballhaussen to respond to the scene, which he described as "chaotic."
Contents of the cars involved in the crash ended up inside the hardware store, he said.
Ballhaussen said employees boarded up windows and did an initial cleaning of the store Monday night, but the cleaning process will be ongoing for the next few days.
Carney and the driver of the Mazda were both severely injured and transferred to Mission Hospital, according to police.
Five additional people suffered minor injuries from the crash, police said.
"Our prayers are going out to the injured folks," Ballhaussen said. "What we have here is just stuff that can easily be replaced, but their lives will be impacted for a period of time."
The Asheville Citizen-Times contributed to this story.