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One Dead In Head-On Collision At Intersection Of U.S. 421, Old U.S. 421, Two Injured in Stable Condition

By Mark S. Kenna

Sept. 27, 2013. Three individuals were involved in a head-on collision Thursday afternoon at the intersection of U.S. 421 and Old U.S. 421, leaving one dead.

After crossing from the north bond lane to the southbound lane, Margaret Stechman, 79, of Boone, in a her maroon Toyota Highlander collided head on with driver Steven Haver, 63, of Boone, and passenger Ricardo Tsherpel, 61, in a blue Jeep Patriot, said Darin Church, chief of Deep Gap volunteer fire department.

The Highlander flipped over a guardrail and rolled down to the bottom of a ravine on the northbound side.

When responders arrived on the scene; Stechman was taken to Watauga Medical Center along with Ricardo Tsherpel who was dead on arrival, Chruch said.

Haver, the driver of the Patriot, was airlifted by Wings Air Rescue to Johnson City Medical Center.

His condition right now is stable, Teresa Hicks, a spokesperson from Mountain States Health Alliance, said.

Stechamn was treated for multiple fractures in the emergency room at Watauga Medical Center and transferred to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Tim Ford, hospital spokesman, said, adding that as of Friday afternoon her condition is “good.”

Members of Stewart Simmons Fire Department helped to re-direct traffic for the three hours that section of U.S. 421 was closed.

Boone Fire Department, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, Watauga Rescue and State Highway Patrol were all at scene as well.