Eric waldrop


By Dave Russell


A Friday night single-vehicle crash on Old Settlement Road took the life of a Sylva woman. 

Erica Suzanne Waldrop, 48, of 1480 Old Settlement Road, was pronounced dead at the accident scene.

The call came in about 9 p.m., N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Brody Crawford said. 

“She was traveling west on Old Settlement Road,” Crawford said. “The vehicle traveled off the road to the right, striking a telephone pole and then it struck several trees.”

The car was engulfed in flames, but authorities believe Waldrop died from impact, Crawford said.

Troopers estimate Waldrop’s 2014 Subaru Forester was traveling 60 mph in the 35 mph zone.

Waldrop’s vehicle might have been involved in a slight mishap before the fatal crash.

“That’s still under investigation,” Crawford said. “There was no wreck report on her striking another vehicle, which we believe happened in town inside the city limits. We are in contact with those people but I believe she actually struck just the tire of the truck.”

Crawford said that contact occurred somewhere between Walmart and the accident site near Berry Mountain Road.

Crawford did not know if drugs or alcohol were a factor.

“We’re just waiting on a toxicology report, just to verify that,” Crawford said. 

No other cars were involved. Traffic was backed up about three hours. The Cullowhee Fire Department and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office were on the scene in addition to the highway patrol.