Suspect arrested after fleeing the scene of fatal motorcycle accident

Jorge Hernandez Hernandez, 20, was arrested by Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputies after fleeing the scene of a fatal-motorcycle accident on Highway 107 N. approximately one mile past Pine Creek Road in Glenville on Sunday, said JC Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Major Shannon Queen.

Pictured at the top of the article is Jorge Hernandez Hernandez who was arrested for his involvement in a fatal motorcycle accident.

NC State Highway Patrol Trooper Tyson Crawford said the victim is 78-year-old Richard Bartnik from Florida who owns a house in Macon County and lives here part-time. Hernandez is from the Cashiers area.

Glenville-Cashiers Rescue Squad assists with direction traffic by closing Highway 107 at Pine Creek Road in Glenville due to a fatal motorcycle accident on Sunday.

Hernandez was traveling northbound on Highway 107 shortly after 5 p.m. on Sunday and crossed over the double yellow line in a GMC Sierra pick-up truck colliding head on with Bartnik who was on his motorcycle.

Crawford said alcohol is believed to be involved and it is unknown where Hernandez works because he does not speak English. Crawford added that immigration services have been notified to assist.

Hernandez’s truck was found wrecked down the street from the crash site turned sideways in the middle of the road. Bartnik’s body was recovered in the southbound lane and his motorcycle was wrecked along the guardrail of the southbound side of the highway.

Hernandez is currently being held in Jackson County Jail on a $30,000 secure bond and is scheduled to appear in Jackson County Court on Nov. 4.

Hernandez is charged with:

  • Driving While Impaired ($20k secure bond)
  • Reckless Driving to Endanger
  • Misdemeanor Death by Vehicle
  • Failed to stop at the scene of a crash
  • Felony Hit and Run Causing Injury ($10k secure bond)

Jorge Hernandez Hernandez

Authorities first responded to a call of a motorcycle accident on Sunday on a section of Highway 107 N. known as Cabbage Curve. After arriving on site, JC sheriff’s deputies found the driver of the motorcycle deceased laying in the road but the driver of the other vehicle (pick-up truck) had fled the scene, said Queen.

Two JC sheriff’s deputies and a K-9 unit were arrived on the scene and began to track Hernandez through the woods. Authorities received a report shortly afterwards of a suspicious person in the Cullowhee Forest area. Other JC sheriff’s deputies responded and arrested Hernandez without incident.

“I wouldn’t call him cooperative since he fled the scene, but he didn’t cause any problems with any of the officers when they apprehended him,” said Queen.

Deputies placed Hernandez in custody and handed him over to NC Highway Patrol. Highway Patrol conducted an accident reconstruction on site Monday afternoon for about five hours. Crawford said the results from that investigation will take time and that the reconstruction consisted of mapping and documenting the crash site.

Cashiers-Glenville Volunteer Fire Department (CGFD) assisted with directing traffic during the accident reconstruction on Monday. Glenville-Cashiers Rescue Squad (GCRS) closed off Highway 107 at Pine Creek Road at the time of the accident on Sunday.

Crawford said the JCSO should be commended for its efforts in apprehending Hernandez.

“Highway Patrol is very appreciative of all their hard work, I mean, they’re the ones who caught him,” he said. “They all (CGFD, GCRS, and JCSO) help us out and we’re thankful for their support.”

Originally reported on Sept. 15 on Plateau Daily News

Highway 107 N. closed due to fatal motorcycle accident

Local emergency services responded to a call of a motorcycle wreck on Highway 107 N. approx. a mile past Pine Creek Road in Glenville shortly after 5 p.m. on Sunday. Glenville-Cashiers Rescue Squad Chief, Jeff Stewart, said it was a two-vehicle wreck and the driver of the motorcycle did not survive. The motorcycle located on the road at the scene.

Highway 107 N. was closed on Sunday at Pine Creek Road in Glenville because of a fatal-motorcycle accident approx. 1 mile up the road.

He added the passengers of the second vehicle are reported to be “okay,” and were driving a pick-up truck. It’s unclear how many passengers were in the pick-up. The motorcycle was found on the road at the scene.

GCRS and Cashiers-Glenville Fire Department crews are on the scene as of 6:30 p.m. waiting for N.C. Highway Patrol to investigate.

“Highway Patrol does a reconstruction any time someone is killed in an accident,” said Stewart. “They have special people for that who come out and conduct an investigation.”

He added he’s unsure when Highway Patrol will arrive as it is a Sunday and there’s no telling where they’re coming from, but he hopes the road opens up around 7:30 p.m.

Article and Photos by Brian O’Shea
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