A Vilas woman died in a head-on crash late yesterday afternoon, slamming into the vehicle of another Vilas resident near Meat Camp. The crash occurred on NC 194 just past Howards Creek Road near the NC DOT facility at about 3:50 when the VW Jetta of Shelly Easterday came across the center line after initially running off of the road to the right, the VW slamming headlong into the GMC pickup of David Mason, 47. Witnesses and arriving Meat Camp First Responders reported Easterday pinned in her car, unconscious, causing a call for Watauga Rescue while arriving Watauga Medics called for WINGS Air Rescue, which dispatched two helicopters to a field at Hardin Park School with Boone Fire taking on the task of a landing zone. Trooper B.L. Cox, who investigated the crash, said that Shelly Easterday, 54, died at the scene, and that David Mason was airlifted by WINGS to the Johnson City Medical Center with the second chopper canceled. A passenger in Masons truck, 19-year old Nicholas Lilly of Jefferson was transported by Watauga Medics to Watauga Medical Center for treatment. Cox was still investigating what might have caused Easterday to run off of the curvy highway and cross the center line.
- Written by Steve Frank