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HIckory man killed in head-on collision in Asheville; police say he was driving into oncoming traffic

HIckory man killed in head-on collision in Asheville; police say he was driving into oncoming traffic

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ASHEVILLE — A head-on collision Saturday led to two deaths and a chaotic scene on the interstate where two unoccupied officer vehicles were hit.

At 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 12, Asheville police officers responded to a report of a crash on I-40 east between Brevard and Hendersonville roads, according to a police report.

When they arrived, they found that Joseph Wesley Hyatt, 47, of Hickory, had been traveling west on the eastbound lanes of I-40 and struck another driver, Blake Daniel Banks, 19, of Asheville, head-on.

Hyatt died on the scene, police reported. Banks was transported to Mission Hospital in critical condition and died at the hospital, police say.

The collision remains under investigation by Asheville police's Traffic Safety Unit, but police say a preliminary investigation indicated Hyatt was impaired at the time he caused the fatal crash. Toxicology results are pending.

While officers were on the scene of the traffic fatality, a third vehicle traveling east on I-40 struck the driver's side door of an unoccupied police vehicle with enough force to spin it into another unoccupied police vehicle. No officers were injured at the scene.

The driver of the vehicle, Leann Hendrix Oglesby, 45, of Cosby, Tennessee, was charged with driving while intoxicated. Oglesby was transported to Mission Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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