By Dave Russell


A Tuesday, May 12 wreck sent a Cherokee man with severe injuries to Mission Hospital in Asheville via a Mountain Area Medical Airlift (MAMA) helicopter.

Caleb Anthony Jones, 35, was traveling north on U.S. 441 in a 2019 Ford Focus when a 2019 Dodge Ram pickup truck driven by Gregory Sutherland Boggs, 73, of Whittier, attempted to make a left turn out of Sunset Farms Road, N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Brody Crawford said.

Jones’ Focus struck Boggs’ truck on the driver side at about noon, he said.

The accident report filed by Crawford estimates Jones was traveling 50 mph at the time of impact.

After impact, Boggs’ pickup crossed the southbound lanes and came to rest at the intersection of U.S. 441 and S.R. 1542, Kudzu Lane. The Focus traveled 77 feet and came to rest in the turning lane of U.S. 441.

“There was quite a bit of damage to both vehicles,” Crawford said. “They were both totaled.”

Boggs was taken by his wife to the hospital with minor injuries, Crawford said.

Boggs has been charged with failure to yield right of way.

Traffic in both directions was funneled into single lanes for about 45 minutes, stopping only when troopers made measurements, Crawford said.

The Ram and Focus were the only vehicles involved.

Jones is in serious condition at Mission Hospital.

“I believe he had numerous broken bones,” Crawford said. 

Cherokee Tribal Police arrived just as the accident occurred and called it in to dispatch, he said. Qualla Fire, Harris EMS and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office were also on the scene.