Asheville Police ask for witnesses of fatal I-40 crash to come forward

Madison Ainsley Carswell of Nebo was killed Monday, October 2, 2017, when a vehicle traveling eastbound in the westbound lane of I-40 collided with the vehicle she was riding in. (Photo credit: New Manna Christian School in Marion)

A McDowell County teenager lost her life in an accident on I-40 on Monday, October 2, 2017.

Eighteen-year-old Madison Carswell of Nebo died at the scene, in a wreck that involved a driver headed in the wrong direction.

The wreck happened early Monday morning, in the westbound lane just past Hendersonville Road, right at the Biltmore Forest town limit.

Police said a Chevrolet pickup truck driven by William Barnett Snyder Jr. of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, was traveling eastbound in the westbound lane of I-40 when it collided with a Ford Focus carrying Tyrin Malik Miller-Fowler of Asheville and his passenger, Madison Ainsley Carswell of Nebo.

In a press release, authorities say they responded to the crash at around 2:45 a.m. at the 50.5-mile marker.

Snyder and Miller-Fowler were brought to Mission Hospital in critical condition. Madison Carswell was the passenger who didn't make it.

On Tuesday, a community suffers a tremendous loss.

"I told the teenagers this morning as we met with them, that this is one of (god's ways), and it's higher than we can imagine," said Jason Garner, youth pastor at New Manna Christian School in Marion.

Garner talked about what he said to students about a girl who was shy, but had lots of friends and a lot to live for.

Madison died as a result of a high-speed, head-on collision. Asheville police investigators still don't know why the driver was on the wrong side of the interstate, where he got on, or where he was headed.

They aren't the only ones trying make sense of it all.

"I have no idea, no idea why, it's just one of those things in life," said Aaron Wagner, principal at New Manna, where Madison spent her final two years of high school.

He said he feels like she's still there.

"Everybody laughed when she did, just an infectious laugh really, fun to be around, enjoyed her friends," said Wagner. "She was a good girl."

On Tuesday morning, students gathered to talk about what had happened.

"This doesn't end here, there's much more about Madison's life and we know that, meaning there will be a service to celebrate her life. But she showed us what it was to be a happy young person," Garner said.

"I do know this much, that there is a perfect god that saw fit for this, and it's in his hands."

Last word from police is that both drivers are still being treated at Mission Hospital.

Investigators are waiting to talk with William Snyder, trying to figure out why he wound up headed the wrong way on I-40.

They ask anyone who might've witnessed anything to call the APD Traffic Safety unit at 828-251-4089.

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