A 26-year-old Carolina “Brea” Franks lost her life at Zips Car Wash in Weaverville, North Carolina, after becoming ensnared in equipment during her cleaning duties, officials reported.
Franks, pronounced dead at the scene on Saturday, according to Weaverville Police, had recently returned from a visit to her grandmother in Kentucky, mere hours before the unfortunate incident unfolded.
Raised by her grandmother, Ernestine Franks, since the age of six, Brea met with a fatal accident that left her trapped in a piece of equipment when discovered.
Ernestine Franks, grappling with the sudden loss, expressed shock upon learning about her granddaughter’s accident on Saturday evening from Franks’ fiancé’s father.
“I was just with her, so I could not believe it. I was in shock,” lamented Ernestine.
Franks had been a valued employee at the car wash for approximately five months, as revealed by her grandmother in a statement to WLOS.
Describing her granddaughter as a young lady who enjoyed her job, Ernestine highlighted Brea’s positive attitude, emphasizing her love for people and animals.
Investigation Underway as Community Mourns
“She enjoyed her job. She said it was a good job. She was special. She loved everybody. She loved animals. She’s just a nice young lady,” remembered Ernestine.
Franks is survived by her fiancé, grandmother, and a circle of extended family members and friends, as outlined in her obituary. A funeral service is scheduled for Monday in Weaverville.
The North Carolina Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health has been alerted to the incident and is currently conducting an investigation, according to local authorities.
Meanwhile, Zips Car Wash, boasting an extensive network of over 200 locations across 24 states, including the Weaverville facility, has not responded to inquiries from The Post as of Thursday.
Although the company has remained silent in response to media requests, a spokesperson confirmed to WLOS that Zips Car Wash is actively cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
The Weaverville location, where the tragic accident occurred, remains closed.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our team member’s family in this time of loss. This is such an unfortunate tragedy,” expressed the spokesperson in a statement.