Newland Town Alderman Joleta Wise Perishes in Automobile Accident Last Thursday

Published Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at 11:31 am

By Tim Gardner

On Thursday afternoon, May 31, Town of Newland Board of Aldermen member Joleta Karol Wise, age 45, was killed in a two-car collision between Crossnore and Pineola.

According to reports, Trooper G.W. Edwards of the N.C. State Highway Patrol was on another call when he heard Deputy Lee Buchanan of the Avery County Sheriff’s Department call in a report of a vehicle driving recklessly north on U.S. Highway 221 near Crossnore Drug Store, where he was at the time.

Joleta Karol Wise

Edwards said Buchanan left the drug store attempting to locate the vehicle. Moments later, when Buchanan reached the top of the hill–approximately a tenth of a mile from the drug store– he called for ambulances and additional help when he encountered the scene of a head-on collision.

According to the State Trooper’s Report, Wise, who lived in Newland, was traveling north in a 2015 Fiat 500 on U.S. Highway 221 when she crossed over the center line and collided with a 2005 Jeep Cherokee traveling south, driven by James (Eddie) Hudson, also of Newland. The State Trooper’s report also indicated that Wise’s vehicle was knocked back more than 60 feet into the northbound lane and that Hudson’s Jeep traveled approximately 20 feet after impact. Both vehicles were traveling at approximately 45 to 50 miles per hour at the time of the collision.

Wise sustained many injuries and was transported to Cannon Memorial Hospital. The Johnson City Medical Center WINGS helicopter was called in to transport Wise, but when the helicopter arrived Wise did not have a pulse and was not flown.

Hudson reportedly refused medical transport at the scene, but he later appeared at Cannon Memorial Hospital requesting medical help and was then transported to Johnson City Medical Center, where he remained in the Intensive Care Unit for several days. Hudson suffered various injuries including a bruised heart and broken bones in his back, ribs and sternum.

Both Wise and Hudson were wearing seat belts when emergency services arrived.

The State Trooper report further indicated that Wise was determined to be at fault in the accident and that alcohol is suspected as a cause of the incident, as an open container of alcohol and a sealed container were found in Wise’ vehicle.

Results of a pathology report have not yet been released.

Wise was elected as a Newland Alderman in 2017. She also is a former Newland Town Administrator and Finance Officer and was a former secretary in the Avery County Manager’s Office.

She and Hudson are both Avery County High School graduates.

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