By Dave Russell


A woman died from injuries sustained in a Monday afternoon accident at the Staffed Recycling Center on U.S. 23/441 near Greens Creek Road. Addie Henson, 77, of Sylva, one of two sisters in a car that accelerated through a fence and down a slope, died at Mission Hospital in Asheville on Tuesday.

The call came into 911 dispatch at 2:28 p.m., N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Brook Sanders said.

The incident was contained to the parking/unloading area at the SRC.

Scott Buchanan, 44, of Sylva, was in the SRC parking area in a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck pulling a small trailer. A 1994 Nissan Maxima, driven by Rebecca Wheatley, 74, of Sylva, struck the rear of the trailer hard enough to jackknife it around to hit Buchanan’s truck, Sanders said.

“She never stopped,” Sanders said. “She just kept accelerating and kind of veered off to the right and went straight through the fence and down the embankment and came to rest down there.”

The Nissan stopped 46 feet downslope, Sanders said.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Savannah Fire Department and Harris EMS also responded. 

Traffic on U.S. 74/441 was never backed up, Sanders said. 

Henson was transported by Harris EMS to a landing zone at the Savannah Fire Department and transferred to a Mountain Area Medical Airlift helicopter and flown to Asheville.

Wheatley and Henson lived beside each other on Pee Wee Branch Road.

Henson’s cause of death had not been determined as of Tuesday afternoon, Sanders said.