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Victims identified in December crash that killed 2, critically injured another
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Victims identified in December crash that killed 2, critically injured another

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Police have identified the remaining victims in a Dec. 10 crash on East Union Street that left two dead and another person critically injured.

Samaria Dillon, 17, of Charlotte, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. She was a rear passenger in the vehicle that crashed when its driver fled police, said Capt. Jason Whisnant.

Tamillia Bost, 18, of Raleigh, was critically injured in the crash, Whisnant said. She was airlifted to a Johnson City, Tennessee, hospital, where she has undergone surgeries and now is in stable condition, Whisnant said.

The crash happened after Tiffany Rene Traylor, 20, of Conover, fled police who tried to serve outstanding warrants on her after she ran a red light, according to a previous News Herald article.

Police pulled her over on East Meeting Street near Bouchelle Street after she ran a red light and almost hit another car.

When police identified Traylor as the driver, they discovered she had unserved warrants for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury that were issued Dec. 8 in Catawba County.

Traylor had been arrested and charged with felony fleeing to elude arrest from Catawba County on Dec. 4, the article said.

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She drove away with her headlights and taillights off when the officer asked her to step out of the vehicle so he could take her into custody.

Officers attempted to catch up to the vehicle on East Meeting Street but lost sight of it at the curve on East Union Street just past Center Street, the article said. They searched the area for the vehicle, thinking it had turned on a side street, until an officer noticed debris from the wreck on the other side of East Union.

High-speed crash

A preliminary investigation showed that Traylor entered the sharp curve on East Union between Center and Tennessee streets at a high rate of speed, lost control of the vehicle, hit the concrete median, left the road, hit a tree and went about 25 feet down an embankment, the article said.

Traylor was initially transported to be airlifted to another hospital, but died on the way to the helicopter. Another passenger, Matthew Lovette, 20, was the front passenger in the car. He was taken to a hospital the night of the crash and released the next day, the article said.

Trooper A.K. Johnson with the State Highway Patrol told The News Herald the morning after the wreck that early estimates from the investigation suggested the car was going at least 60 mph when it hit the tree.

He said there was no evidence on the scene to suggest drugs or alcohol were involved in the crash.

The Highway Patrol reconstruction team was called to assist with the wreck investigation.

Burke County EMS, Burke County Rescue Squad and Burke County REACT also responded to the scene.

Chrissy Murphy is a staff writer and can be reached at cmurphy@morganton.com or at 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphyMNH on Twitter.

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