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Authorities searching for third suspect after fatal crash Wednesday night

Image credit: MGN

Highway Patrol is searching for a person they say was involved in a fatal wreck along Leicester Highway on Wednesday, just after 10 p.m.

Master Trooper Murico L. Stephens with the Highway State Patrol tells News 13 the crash happened when a 2006 Ford pickup truck, that was traveling south on NC 63, crossed over into the northbound lane and collided into two vehicles.

The first vehicle to be struck was a 2011 Chevy pickup truck driven by Rockie Hutchinson Jr., 38, of Leicester. There were three other passengers in Hutchinson's truck at the time of the wreck. Two of his passengers were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Hutchinson and the other passengers also had non-life threatening injuries.

After the 2006 Ford pickup truck collided into the 2011 Chevy pickup truck, it then crashed into a 2002 Lincoln passenger car driven by Tony Curtis Gaston, 57, of Leicester, with one passenger inside his vehicle. Gaston was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries. The passenger in his vehicle suffered non-life threatening injuries.

After the collision, authorities say the occupants of the 2006 Ford pickup truck tried to run away. Two of three occupants of the truck were found and arrested once law enforcement arrived on scene. They were taken to the Buncombe County Jail and charged with failing to remain at the scene of a collision.

At this time, investigators are looking for a third occupant of the truck, who is described by a witness as a Hispanic male, possibly in his mid-20’s, last seen wearing a white T-shirt covered in blood.

Anyone with information is asked to call Highway Patrol at 1-800-445-1772 or * HP (*47) from their cell phone.

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