Highway patrol officers were called to two accident sites in Wake County this weekend that will change the lives of a few families forever. Officers and arrest reports attributed the first accident to driving while impaired and the second to excessive speed.
The first accident occurred Saturday night on N.C. 96. The 32-year-old driver crossed the center line and smashed his 1987 Jeep Wrangler into another car. According to the arrest records, the driver smelled of alcohol, and his eyes were red and glassy. A blood-alcohol test performed later determined he was legally drunk — his BAC of .16 was twice the legal limit.
The man faces more than a first-time DWI charge. He has been convicted twice before for DWI, in 1998 and 2005. Because it has been less than seven years since his last conviction, he will likely face enhanced penalties, including suspension of his license for several years and up to a year in prison.
However, the driver is a Mexican national. Authorities notified the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office of his arrest, and they may decide to deport him.
The second accident was on Old Pearce Road in an unincorporated area of Wake County. At about 8:30 p.m., a car driven by a 16-year-old boy crossed the center line, flipped and struck a tree.
The driver was killed, as were two of his passengers. The two boys who died were 16- and 17-years-old. A third passenger, riding in the back seat, survived the crash but was taken to a nearby hospital. His injuries included a broken leg. Doctors reported they were “optimistic” that he would recover fully.
Again, speed was a factor in the fatal crash. All four were wearing seat belts.
Raleigh News & Observer, “Man charged with DWI after Wake wreck,” 06/05/2011
Raleigh News & Observer, “Three teens dead, 1 critical in Wake wreck,” 06/06/2011