N.C. Troopers Investigate A Fatal Collision In Burke County

MORGANTON, N.C. — Troopers say the driver of a 2020 Ford F-150 Monica Torres-Garcia, 39, died after being taken to a local hospital for injuries she received in a fatal collision on Friday, December 25th.

Troopers say they responded to the collision between the Ford and a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer around 1 a.m. on Interstate 40 East near mile marker 108, where the driver of the Ford Torres-Garcia and a 2-year-old passenger in the Chevrolet were both seriously injured.

Detectives say the occupants of the Ford were in an argument when Torres-Garcia began to drive recklessly east on Interstate 40 and hit the Chevrolet also heading east.

Both cars collided with the guardrail several times before stopping, according to a news release.

Troopers say Torres-Garcia was taken to Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge in Valdese where she later died, and the 2-year-old in the Chevrolet was taken to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte to be treated for serious injuries after not being properly restrained in her car seat.

The driver of the Chevrolet Amanda Palumbo, 30,  an adult passenger, and four children were taken to Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge in Valdese for minor injuries, according to a news release.

Detectives say the passenger of the Ford received minor injuries and was not taken to a hospital.

Investigators say alcohol is suspected to be a contributing factor to the crash, and Interstate 40 East was closed for several hours during the investigation.