A 29-year-old man with a history of convictions for DWI and other crimes was involved in a fatal head-on collision this weekend. His arrest had North Carolina officials wondering anew how to keep repeat drunk drivers off the roads. At the time of the accident, he was already awaiting trial for felony child abuse causing serious bodily injury. He is now facing charges of second-degree murder, felony death by motor vehicle, driving while intoxicated, driving with a revoked license, speeding to elude arrest and driving left of the center line.
The accident occurred after the suspect fled as police approached his pick-up truck during a traffic stop. He sped away from them, and moments later apparently crashed into the victim’s car. People living near the crash site rushed to help but reported that there was nothing they could do to help the 44-year-old victim.
They did, however, stay with the suspect while waiting for emergency crews to arrive. According to one witness, the suspect was unconscious when she approached the car. As she reassured him that help was on the way, he woke up and, she reported, said, “I didn’t do it.”
Neither the suspect nor his female passenger was wearing a seat belt. Witnesses saw a beer in the passenger’s hand.
The suspect has been arrested at least 18 times in the Charlotte area since he was a teenager. He has been convicted about a dozen times as an adult for offenses like communicating threats, larceny, breaking and entering, assault on a female, trespassing, false imprisonment and stalking. His convictions have carried fines, periods of probation and incarceration, license revocation and multiple sessions of substance-abuse counseling and AA meetings.
The victim, a father of three, was leaving a church event at the time of the crash.
Resource: News & Observer (Raleigh, NC) “Suspect in Fatal Wreck Had 6 DWIs” 10/25/10