An 18-year-old lost her life in a head-on collision on I-40 near Asheville, North Carolina (NC), during the early morning hours of October 2, 2017. The deadly crash happened at around 2:20 am close to the Hendersonville Road exit.



According to the Asheville Police Department, a pickup truck driver from Florida was traveling east of the westbound lanes of the interstate when he crashed into a car. The young woman who died, whom authorities identified as Madison Ainsley Carswell of Nebo, was a passenger in the car. She was declared dead at the scene.

Both drivers survived the wreck and were admitted to Mission Hospital in critical condition. No charges were immediately issued, as crash investigators wanted to speak with the drivers and collect as much evidence as possible. Authorities have asked witnesses to share what they observed by calling (828) 251-4089.

Section 20-146 of the North Carolina General Statutes makes it illegal to drive on the wrong side of a highway. The two clause of that statute that apply to the fatal head-on collision near the I-40 exit to the town of Biltmore Forest are


  • Upon all highways of sufficient width a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the highway.
  • Upon any highway having four or more lanes for moving traffic and providing for two-way movement of traffic, no vehicle shall be driven to the left of the centerline of the highway,


The rules exist to prevent head-on collisions, which the Fatality Analysis Reporting System maintained by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration bloodlessly defines as “a collision where the front end of one vehicle collides with the front end of another vehicle while the two vehicles are traveling in opposite directions.” Head-ons often result in deaths of innocent drivers and passengers. People who survive head-ons often suffer from lifelong physical disabilities and debilitating brain injuries.

My Carolina wrongful death attorney colleagues and I have called attention to the dangers posed by wrong-way drivers for many years. Our experiences with victims of wrecks caused by drivers moving against the flow of traffic lead us to understand that drinking and taking drugs play a large role in many such incidents. Even if the pickup truck driver near Asheville was sober, he still put other people’s lives in danger, and actually did take a life, by getting on the wrong side of the interstate. We send our deepest condolences out to the family of the deceased passenger, and we wish the innocent driver a compete and rapid return to health.