On Friday afternoon, a Marion woman was airlifted to a burn center after she was rescued from a recreational vehicle that went off N.C. 226 North along Coxes Creek and caught fire.
At 1:29 p.m. Friday, Tracy Gail Patterson, 54, of Marion was driving her RV down N.C. 226 on Coxes Creek when she lost control on the steep and winding mountain road. Her RV went over the mountain at the last set of curves going down Coxes Creek. Her RV came to a rest at the bottom of a ravine and caught fire, said Trooper D.K. Hensley of the N.C. Highway Patrol.
As far as could be determined, she was alone in the RV.
Hensley said two men, Kyle Bailey of Marion and David Popel of Spruce Pine, scaled the ravine wall and pulled her from the burning vehicle. A third man, Jeffrey Thomas of Spruce Pine, had a fire extinguisher and was able to use it on her. He put out the rest of the fire by smothering it, according to Hensley.
These three men saved her life but she received severe burns on her most of her body. However, she was alert and talking at the scene, said Hensley.
McDowell EMS and fire departments from Pleasant Gardens, Woodlawn-Sevier, Ashford-North Cove and the Blue Ridge Parkway were on the scene.
Patterson was airlifted to the Wake Forest Baptist Burn Center in Winston-Salem. N.C. 226 North on Coxes Creek was shut down for three hours due to the wreck and the fire but was able to reopen by 5 p.m.
Hensley said he doesn’t know Patterson’s condition as of 5:15 p.m. Friday.
Original breaking story:
N.C. 226 North on Coxes Creek was shut down at approximately 1:35 p.m. due to a wreck, vehicle fire and woods fire near the truck ramp, according to emergency radio traffic.
Motorists should avoid the area.
At least one person was injured, suffering burns, according to radio traffic. Several fire departments were either on the scene or headed that way. A landing zone was set up for a medical helicopter at the Pepsi plant.
This is a developing story.