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Albemarle resident involved in fatal crash

An Albemarle resident and his passenger were involved in a fatal crash Saturday afternoon near Troy.

N.C. Highway Patrol First Sgt. Matt Jackson said Gildardo Gutierrez-Ortiz, 32, of Albemarle was driving north on N.C. Highway 134 when he was hit by 18-year-old Michael Trimble of Troy around 5:45 p.m.

Jackson said Trimble’s Lexus traveled left of center “for unknown reasons” and struck Gutierrez-Ortiz’s Toyota head-on.

Trimble died at the scene, Jackson said, while Gutierrez-Ortiz was transported to UNC-Chapel Hill for leg injuries. His passenger, Ezequias Tejeda, 40, of Concord, was taken to FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital for minor injuries.

“It’s a terrible time during the holidays to have to deal with the loss of a loved one,” Jackson said. “Be safe during the holidays. “Slow down and pay attention to everything around you. Definitely don’t drink, and wear your seatbelt.”

Jackson said it appears no substances were involved or cellphone use, as no phone was recovered.