One killed, multiple others injured in incident with vehicle at Highland Games

A woman was killed and four others were injured, Highway Patrol said.
A crowd of runners was ran into by a vehicle on Thursday night prior to the start of a race.
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 10:47 PM EDT
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LINVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - Multiple people were injured and one was killed after an accident involving a vehicle on Thursday night at Grandfather Mountain.

According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP), a woman died due to the collision, and four others were injured.

Participants were preparing to run “The Bear” footrace when the incident occurred at approximately 6:52 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 221 and N.C. Highway 105.

The collision happened when a Ford Econoline van attempted to leave a parked position and accelerated into the crowd. After hitting the pedestrians, the van also struck a John Deere Gator before coming to a stop.

State police are handling the investigation. Officials told WBTV they believe the crash was a “terrible accident.”

State troopers identified Julie Holderness, 72, of Greensboro the deceased victim.

Three men, aged 43, 45 and 61 were injured, along with an unknown victim.

The operator of the van, identified as James Russell Deni, 80, was charged with unsafe movement and misdemeanor death by vehicle.

Runners had been lined up at the starting line and were scheduled to run five miles to the top of Grandfather Mountain.

State police are handling the investigation. Officials told WBTV they believe the crash was a “terrible accident.”

The race was part of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, and was immediately canceled following the incident.

“On behalf of myself and the entire Grandfather Mountain Highland Games organization and family, we are deeply saddened by tonight’s devastating event and extend our condolences to those affected,” Grandfather Mountain Highland Games President Steve Quillin said.

The remaining Highland Games activities will continue as planned, according to a Facebook post.

The incident remains under investigation.

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