A 52 year-old state employee has been charged with second-degree murder, DWI and crossing the center lane after slamming head-on into a mini-van and killing the other driver. The man was driving a state-owned dump truck and was on duty when the crash occurred. Police found a beer can near the truck and also reported the smell of beer on the driver and evidence of spilt beer inside the vehicle, as well as a receipt showing the purchase of beer that morning.
According to a report on WRAL, the driver was driving on Highway 64 in Apex when he drove the dump truck over the center line and smashed into the other vehicle, killing the mother who was driving and sending her two children, ages 2 and 4, to the hospital, where they were treated and released. An injured passenger in the dump truck was also treated and released.
Court records show that the man was convicted of DWI in 1997 but because his job didn’t require a special license, the state allowed him to drive state vehicles. A spokesperson for the state said they are re-examining that policy.
The North Carolina Injury Lawyer Perspective:
Our condolences go out to this woman’s children and family. The day after the accident, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, the department this man was employed by, said they are conducting an investigation and stated they will be “. . . talking to every person who came in contact with him yesterday to see if anyone had any inkling of what was going on."
We can’t help but ask why this state employee was behind the wheel of the dump truck. What was the other employee, the passenger in the truck, doing as the driver was driving and drinking the beer found at the scene? The victim’s family should contact a North Carolina wrongful death attorney to ensure that all those who are civilly liable for their loss are held accountable.
Highway 64, Apex, NC