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NAACP leader, educator die in Iredell crash

A longtime NAACP leader and a veteran educator were killed Tuesday afternoon in a head-on crash in eastern Iredell County, authorities say.

The victims were identified as Woody Woodard, 77, president of the Statesville branch of the NAACP; and Brenda Laxton, 65, a teacher assistant at Cool Spring Elementary School.

The N.C. Highway Patrol says the crash was reported shortly before 2:30 p.m. on U.S. 64, near Barry Oak Road. That is about 5 miles east of Statesville.

Troopers say Woodard was eastbound in a car and collided with a westbound minivan driven by Laxton. The Highway Patrol says it is still investigating the cause. The crash caused authorities to close U.S. 64 for most of the afternoon.

Woodard was honored last weekend with the NAACP Life Membership Award. Laxton was a kindergarten assistant at Cool Spring Elementary.

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