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North Carolina man pleads guilty in fatal crash

A North Carolina man, accused of being responsible for a crash that left another man dead, has pleaded guilty after agreeing to a deal with prosecutors. The man will still face charges of leaving the scene of car accident and involuntary manslaughter, but will dodge the death resulting from reckless driving and driving without a license charges prosecutors initially filed against him.

Police say the fatal accident occurred as the suspect and a friend were returning home from a concert in Richmond. The suspect increased its speed to an estimated 90 miles per hour in order to pass the victim, who was on his way to work. According to police, the suspect then pulled in front of the victim and braked, prompting what prosecutors said "can only be described as aggressive driving toward each other." Both parties were reportedly making obscene gestures throughout the affair.

Eventually, the suspect began swerving towards the victim's vehicle, causing the victim to veer into the highway's emergency lane and then off the roadway. The vehicle then traveled up a hillside before striking a manhole cover and launching into the air. The car rotated while airborne, eventually falling and slamming into a concrete bridge.

Emergency response personnel transported the victim to a nearby medical care facility, but he was pronounced dead upon arrival. The man's official cause of death was listed as "brain injury resulting from blunt injuries to his chest."

Following the crash, the suspect fled the state to avoid arrest. He initially claimed the woman accompanying him had been driving, but later admitted that he had been operating the vehicle at the time of the accident. He claimed he did not know anyone was hurt in the accident.

Prosecutors said they agreed to the plea deal because "both parties contributed to the ultimate fatality." However, they ruled that the suspect was primarily responsible for the accident.

Source: Richmond Times Dispatch, "Man pleads guilty in I-195 road-rage fatality," Reed Williams, May 2, 2012

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