81-Year-Old Man Killed After Crash Near Carowinds

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An 81-year-old man was killed in an early morning south Charlotte crash near Carowinds Tuesday, police said.

Officers responded around 5:30 a.m. to Carowinds Boulevard in reference to a motor vehicle crash. Upon arrival, officers found a Kia Soul with heavy front-end damage and a 2018 Audi Q7 with minor front-end damage. The driver of the Audi was uninjured and remained on the scene. The driver of the Kia Soul, identified as 81-year-old Eddy Wilbanks, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Through an initial investigation, officers determined that Wilbanks was traveling on Choate Circle when he crossed over Carowinds Boulevard onto Best Day Boulevard and struck the front end of the Audi, which was stopped at the light. The Kia continued on Best Day Boulevard, where it ran off the road to the right and struck a tree and fence on property owned by Carowinds.

Police said the vehicle then rotated and began to accelerate back in the direction towards Carowinds Boulevard. The Kia crossed the intersection back onto Choate Circle a second time before it ran off the road and traveled down an embankment before colliding with a building.

According to CMPD, speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors for Wilbanks but toxicology results are pending.

The investigation into this collision is active and ongoing.

Anyone who witnessed or has information about the crash should contact Detective Oberer at 704-432-2169, extension 3.  The public can also leave information anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/.

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