Local

1 dead in Gastonia wreck after police chase

One person died during a police chase on Franklin Boulevard in Gastonia on Saturday night
One person died during a police chase on Franklin Boulevard in Gastonia on Saturday night WBTV

One person died in a wreck on West Franklin Boulevard at New Hope Road in Gastonia on Saturday night, according to the Gastonia Fire Department.

According to the police report, Gastonia police responded to a reported larceny in progress at the Target at 425 Cox Rd. at approximately 4:48 p.m. Saturday. Officers were told enroute that the suspects had left the store and gotten into a gray Nissan Altima.

Officer J.A. Williams attempted to stop the vehicle as it was leaving the parking lot. The driver, Thomas Kirkland, 38 years old, of Gastonia, accelerated onto East Franklin Boulevard., heading westbound in the eastbound lanes. He crossed back over into the westbound lanes approaching the New Hope Road intersection, then crossed back into eastbound lanes before colliding with a 2014 Dodge Avenger in the left turning lane on East Franklin Boulevard at about 7 p.m., according to the report.

The Avenger was driven by Donald Curtis, 64, of Gastonia. Kirkland, Curtis and Curtis’ passenger, Patricia Curtis, were transported to Caromont Regional Medical Center with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Kirkland’s passenger Deborah Patterson, 62, of Bessamer City, was also transported to Caromont Regional Medical Center, where she died from her injuries.

Kirkland has been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, felony flee to elude arrest, careless and reckless driving, failure to stop for a stop light, left of center, speeding, driving while license revoked for impaired driving and felony larceny.

The Gastonia Police Department Traffic Enforcement Bureau is investigating the collision. Anyone who may have seen the incident or have any additional information can contact the Gastonia Police Department Traffic Enforcement Bureau at (704) 866-6702.

Police have closed West Franklin Boulevard at the busy intersection to investigate the crash, which happened at about 7 p.m..

The Gastonia Fire Department urges drivers to use alternate routes.

Joe Marusak, Rachel Herzog

  Comments