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Long road ahead for Montreat College track coach injured in collision

GoFundMe site for Britten Olinger raises

Fred McCormick
fred@blackmountainnews.com

Montreat College track coach Britten Olinger has a long road to recovery, his sister states in a GoFundMe page she set up to help with expenses after her brother was critically injured in a wreck in downtown Black Mountain Feb. 27.

As of March 3, the page (gofundme.com/brittenstrong) had raised more than $70,000 from over 1,000 people. They money will support Olinger’s wife, Samantha, and their young daughter Kolbie while he focuses on his recovery.

Nancy Quesenberry, said her brother severed his spinal cord, fractured his pelvis and lower back and broke his left arm. Olinger suffered a “traumatic” injury to his lungs, she said. “My brother will never will never walk again,” she stated on the website.

The crash occurred just before 7 p.m. when Kyle Carney exited Interstate 40 heading west at a “high rate of speed,” Black Mountain Police Department said. His 2015 Nissan Altima continued along U.S. 70 and struck Olinger’s Mazda in the intersection of State Street and N.C. 9.

Both drivers were taken to Mission Hospital with serious injuries.

The force of the collision caused the cars to strike three other vehicles. Flying car parts broke several windows to Town Hardware & General Store. The windows were still boarded up March 3.

Carney was charged with careless and reckless driving and other traffic-related offenses pending further investigation, according to the department’s press release. The speed of the car he was driving was a factor in the wreck, according to the police. They hadn’t released any more information as of March 3.

Olinger came to Montreat College in July to coach the men and women’s track and field programs.

“Britten has spent the last 10 years teaching athletes how to run,” the GoFundMe page says. “He has been a track and cross country coach for all of his adult life.”

Montreat College hosted a blood drive in honor of Olinger on March 3. Running the drive was The Blood Connection, an independently managed nonprofit community blood center that supplies blood to Mission Hospital.

TBC donated $25 per unit of blood donated and used by Olinger. That money could be used to offset medical or travel expenses related to Olinger’s injuries.