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Student accused of driving while impaired, killing two bystanders

Following a tragic car accident that killed two bystanders, a man was arrested under suspicion of hitting the two victims. The 21-year-old University of North Carolina Wilmington student faces multiple charges that include driving while impaired, death by motor vehicle and unspecified drug charges. The young man now must focus on his criminal defense against these accusations.

During the snowstorm that hit our state this past week, a trucker became stranded on I-40. He drove over a patch of snow that caused his vehicle to spin and eventually block all lanes of traffic near the U.S. 70 Bypass. Two other drivers left their vehicles and attempted to help the trucker move his vehicle safely to the side of the Interstate. As the truck gained enough traction to begin to move out of the way, the trucker claims that a car traveling roughly 60 mph approached the two helpers.

The Volvo apparently hit the two helpers, and they tragically passed away from their injuries. The operator of the vehicle supposedly continued driving after hitting the victims. The authorities began a hunt for the driver, and he was found in the woods about 10 miles from the accident and arrested without incident.

The North Carolina man was initially charged with two counts of second-degree murder in addition to his other charges. However, the court did not think that he had malicious intent, so those charges were reduced to two counts of death by motor vehicle in a court hearing. It is unknown whether a blood alcohol test was administered to determine if he actually was driving while impaired. If the arresting officers administered a blood test while the man was in custody, the procedures involved will require close scrutiny to determine whether the rights of the accused man were fully protected as required by our laws.

Source: newsobserver.com, NC troopers say 2 men killed by hit-and-run driver as they tried to help trucker, Andrew Kenney, Feb. 14, 2014

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