Drunk Driving Doctor Kills Winston-Salem Ballerina, Faces Charges | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Last week a drunk doctor took the life of a talented North Carolina ballet dancer while he was driving recklessly after a day of drinking. While Raleigh police are not releasing many details surrounding the deadly North Carolina DWI crash, Jimmy Powers, the co-owner of Piper’s Tavern said that the doctor was served two drinks on the afternoon of the crash before being cut off. Others say that the doctor went golfing before visiting the tavern, where he drank at the Raleigh country club.

Dr. Raymond Dwight Cook is a 42-year-old cosmetic surgeon and assistant professor at the UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. While driving drunk, the doctor was speeding at 90 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. At that time, he struck a car driven by 20-year-old Carolina ballet dancer Elena Bright Shapiro of Winston-Salem. Shapiro was rushed by the EMS to WakeMed, where she died of her car accident injuries.

Cook has been charged with death by motor vehicle, driving while intoxicated, failure to reduce speed and driving careless and recklessly. His bond was set at $250,000. In response to the DWI and fatal NC car accident, Cook has surrendered his medical license, resigned from his jobs at WakeMed Facial Plastic Surgery and UNC, and entered into a substance abuse treatment program.

Twenty years ago, Cook was charged with a DUI and with reckless driving after he was pulled over drunk driving 110 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour zone.