SPECIAL REPORT to Blowing Rock News from North Carolina State Highway Patrol. By Jeffrey S. Swagger, Master Trooper. May 3, 2019. MCGRADY, NC — On Thursday, 2 May 2019 at approximately 4:40 p.m., the NC State Highway Patrol responded to and investigated a double fatal collision in Wilkes County on NC 18 near Painter Lane. Painter Lane is located about one-half mile south of the McGrady Fire Department.
A 2006 Ford Freestyle was traveling north on NC 18 and following a school bus. A 2003 GMC pickup truck was traveling south on NC 18. The Ford began attempting to pass the school bus in a passing zone. Before completing the passing maneuver and upon approaching a curve, the northbound Ford encountered the southbound GMC. Although the GMC attempted to avoid the collision, the vehicles collided head-on. The Ford came to rest in the roadway; the GMC overturned and came to rest on a guardrail on the shoulder.
The driver of the Ford was Cassandra Elizabeth Gilbert, 16, of McGrady. She was accompanied by her sister, Madison Grace Gilbert, 12, of McGrady. Both girls died as a result of the collision.
The driver of the GMC was Michael Shane Miller, 43, of Millers Creek. He was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem with serious but non-life threatening injuries.
All occupants were restrained by seatbelts; no impairment is suspected.