16-year-old charged in deadly head-on car crash in Gaston County, neighbors voice concern

(Gibbs)
(Gibbs)

GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A 16-year-old was charged Thursday after a head-on car crash left one man dead and another woman injured in Gaston County Wednesday night.

According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Dylan Gibbs, 16, was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and careless and reckless driving. He was booked into the Gaston County Jail.

The incident happened on Patrick Road near Union Road around 6:30 p.m Wednesday.

Jackson Meek, 83, was identified as the man who was killed. His wife is still hospitalized at Carolinas Medical Center and is doing better but will need surgery.

Officials said  Wednesday night, a white Ford Focus hatchback crossed the center line colliding with a gold Toyota Camry.

Troopers said Gibbs, the driver of the Focus, was at fault and speed was the factor in the crash as he was probably driving 75 to 80 miles per hour at the time of the crash. The speed limit on that road is 45 mph.

There were reportedly no signs of impairment with Gibbs.

All three people involved were initially transported to CaroMont Regional Medical Center with injuries.

Officials said Meek was pronounced dead at the hospital and his wife was transported to CMC-Main in Charlotte with life-threatening injuries.

Gibbs had minor injuries and was released from the hospital Wednesday night.

Neighbors spoke Thursday night about their concerns regarding Patrick Road.

Meek's cousin, Tommy Meek, spoke to WBTV about his family member's death Thursday night.

"God rest his soul. He was a good man, he was a good man," said Tommy Meek. "It's a sad and tragic thing that happened down in that curve."

The deadly collision happened at a curve in Patrick Road. Tommy Meek is familiar with the street.

"There's been several accidents down there, either at the intersection or the two curves on either side," said Meek.

Jack Beaty lives along Patrick Road just feet away from where the deadly wreck happened. He said he had just finished mowing his lawn when he heard the collision.

"I've seen lots of wrecks out here over 25 years, but I've never seen one that violent," said Beaty.

He said drivers have taken out the brick columns in front of his driveway multiple times. He isn't the only neighbor concerned about the road.

Cassie Walls said her parents live along the busy road, and she said she was severely injured in a crash along the road back in 2011.

"My family members live down here and I don't want anyone to get hurt or see someone else hurt," said Walls.

The neighbors said that while drivers speeding is part of the issue, they also feel the road itself is too narrow and has a deteriorating shoulder.

"I think it's the actual road needs to be widened," said Walls.

Beaty said he thinks the shoulder needs to be repaired.

Tommy Meek also offered up a suggestion for fixing the road.

"They could maybe monitor a little more, maybe get some people slowing down a little bit down in that area," said Meek.

WBTV is in the process of contacting the North Carolina Department of Transportation to see if any data has been collected regarding the safety of Patrick Road.

Highway Patrol investigated the crash, while Gaston County Police and Union Road Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene.

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