A man and a woman were killed Wednesday evening and two other people seriously injured in a two-vehicle crash in western Gaston County, authorities said.
The victims were identified as Nong Pen and Kevin Nguyen, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol. They were passengers in a Honda that was struck by a tractor-trailer on eastbound U.S. 74 near Kings Mountain.
Troopers said the Honda was westbound on U.S. 74 and attempted to make a U-turn onto eastbound U.S. 74 near Gamble Loop Road. Authorities said the Honda apparently pulled into the path of an eastbound tractor-trailer.
The truck jackknifed and pushed the car about 30 feet, according to Chris Stowe of Crowder’s Mountain Fire & Rescue. Pen, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, and Nguyen, who was sitting behind her, died at the scene. Authorities said the driver and another passenger were taken to Caromont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia with life-threatening injuries.
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The driver of the truck was not injured.
Eastbound U.S. 74 was closed in the area for part of the evening, while a hazardous materials team from the Gastonia Fire Department cleaned hydraulic fluid leaking from the truck.
Troopers said it is possible the driver of the Honda might have been temporarily blinded by the glare of the setting sun. An investigation into the wreck is continuing.