Morganton Public Safety Officers conducted a traffic stop on East Meeting St near Bouchelle St, after observing a dark vehicle run a stop light, nearly colliding with another vehicle.

The officer identified the driver as Tiffany Rene Traylor, age 20. A records check indicated that Traylor’s license were suspended. Traylor had active warrants from Catawba County for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill as well as assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

The officer asked Traylor to step out of the vehicle. Traylor refused, rolled up her window and sped away, travelling east on East Meeting Street. The officer observed Traylor’s vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed with no headlight/taillights. The officers tried to catch up with the vehicle Traylor was driving but lost sight of the vehicle at the curve on East Union Street, just past Center Street.

The officers attempted to locate the vehicle in the area of East Union Street, believing the vehicle had turned onto a side street or got away.

The officer noticed debris in the west bound lanes on East Union Street, in the curve.  The officer observed the suspect vehicle had left the roadway and travelled down an embankment.

Emergency medical services and Burke County Rescue Squad were immediately requested.

The driver, Tiffany Traylor of Hickory NC, was transported by Burke EMS for Medflight, but died enroute because of injuries sustained from the crash.

The front seat passenger, Matthew Lovette age 20 of North Wilkesboro, was ejected from the vehicle.  Lovette was transported to CHS Morganton and discharged the next day.

Two passengers were in the rear of the vehicle.  One passenger was pronounced dead at the scene.  The other passenger was transported by Medflight to Johnson City, TN Medical center with traumatic injuries in critical condition.  The names of those passengers is being withheld at this time, pending notification of family members.

Preliminary investigation indicates that Traylor entered a sharp curve on East Union at a high rate of speed, losing control of the 2012 Hyundai Sonata, in the curve.  The vehicle crossed a concrete median, left the roadway and struck a tree before coming to rest approximately 25’ down a steep embankment. 

North Carolina Highway Patrol’s crash reconstruction team is assisting Morganton Public Safety with the incident.