NC man dies in single-vehicle accident on I-85 - FOX Carolina 21

NC man dies in single-vehicle accident on I-85

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The Cherokee County Coroner's Office said a North Carolina man died in a single vehicle collision on Interstate 85 on Wednesday.

According to Coroner Dennis Fowler, David Southards, of Shelby, NC, was the driver and only person in the car when he drove off the right side of the interstate, struck a fence and at least one small tree before re-entering the highway.

Fowler believed Southards had fallen asleep at the wheel. The office's autopsy results revealed Southards died from blunt force head trauma sustained in the collision.  

"I have ruled out any medical problems that Mr. Southards could have suffered before the collision.  He was traveling with the driver's door window down which often times people do if they are tired and sleepy, " Fowler said.

Fowler said Southards then crossed both lanes, entering the median, and came to rest against the cable barriers. The accident happened around 6:30 a.m.

Due to Southards' head injuries, he was airlifted by a helicopter to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center where he died at 10 a.m., according to authorities.

According to the coroner's office, Southards was en route to work in Spartanburg when the wreck occurred. He becomes Cherokee County's 12th traffic death of 2011. 

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