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Chain reaction wreck leaves two dead

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

A chain reaction collision left two people dead in east Charlotte on Saturday night.

After a collision, the driver of a Chevrolet Malibu swerved into oncoming traffic, flipping the vehicle, ejecting four of its passengers, killing two and leaving several others with injuries that ranged from minor to life-threatening.

The wreck happened just before midnight on Eastway Drive near Central Avenue. It involved three vehicles: the Malibu, a 2002 Honda Odyssey and a 1996 Ford Explorer. No one has been charged in connection with the collision or the deaths, and police haven’t indicated who they believe was at fault.

Ashley Gilliam, 21, and Deborah Bakashika – who were sitting in the back seat of the Malibu, were both pronounced dead. Another rear seat passenger had life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the Malibu and most of the other people involved in the wreck had only minor injuries. One person was uninjured.

After an initial wreck between the Malibu and the Odyssey, the Malibu crossed the double yellow line into oncoming traffic lanes, striking the Ford Explorer, which was traveling north on Eastway Drive.

After impact with the Explorer, the Malibu rolled over onto its roof. Four passengers in the Malibu were ejected from the vehicle and landed on the roadway.

Police say alcohol was not a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation. Investigators encourage anyone who witnessed the crash or who has information about the crash to call 704-336-8862.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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