Woman dies nearly two days after Gaston Co. crash, other driver charged

(Source: Gastonia Fire Department)
(Source: Gastonia Fire Department)

GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - One woman has died and another is being charged after a crash on Interstate 85 in Gaston County Tuesday.

The initial crash happened around 9:25 a.m. on I-85 at mile marker 22. As traffic slowed for the crash, troopers say, one vehicle did not slow down and crashed into another vehicle, causing a chain reaction with at least four other vehicles.

The driver of the first car hit, which then slammed into the back of a box truck, went to the hospital in critical condition. Troopers say that woman, identified Thursday as 25-year-old Jalisa Nicole Jones of Charlotte, died at the hospital Wednesday night.

At least three other people were injured in the crash. Their conditions have not been released.

The driver who troopers say caused the chain reaction, identified Thursday as a 51-year-old Peggy Virginia Oates, was initially charged with careless and reckless driving and failure to reduce speed. After Jones' death, she will also be facing a charge of misdemeanor death by vehicle. The charge will be issued on a citation.

Troopers say Oates told them she "zoned out" and didn't remember traffic stopping. They say it does not appear the woman was on her phone but that the investigation is ongoing.

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