Update: 5-vehicle crash in Black Mountain injures several, damages store
BLACK MOUNTAIN - A man has been charged after a five-vehicle accident in Black Mountain that caused damage to a local hardware store and injured several victims Monday night, according to police. The collision shut down a portion of East State Street for several hours.
Kyle Carney was charged with careless and reckless driving along with other traffic violations, according to a news release from Black Mountain Police Department.
Police say speeding was the main factor in the crash, but the exact speed he was traveling at the time of the collision was unknown Tuesday.
One of those injured was identified Tuesday as Britten Olinger, the head coach of the Montreat College men’s and women’s track and field teams. 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.
Carney was driving a 2015 Nissan Altima west on Interstate 40 at a high rate of speed, and exited the interstate at exit 65 onto U.S. 70 West, police say. When he entered the intersection of Montreat Road and State Street, he struck a 2004 Mazda sedan. Three other vehicles were hit as a result.
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.”
Black Mountain News reporter Fred McCormick contributed to this report.