It is always a tragedy when a promising young life is snuffed out in a senseless accident, and that is just what happened recently in Hampstead, NC.
A 21-year-old young woman died in a head-on collision with an allegedly intoxicated driver who was driving in the wrong direction on US Route 17 on July 14.
The collision occurred near Union Bethel Road. According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the other driver, a 50-year-old man, was traveling the wrong way on the highway and attempted to make a left turn into his driveway. The young woman was a passenger in her 22-year-old boyfriend's 1998 Pontiac. She died upon impact.
Her boyfriend and the allegedly drunken driver were taken for treatment to New Hanover Regional Medical Center after the fatal crash. Her boyfriend had two leg surgeries and is still in the process of recovering from the accident.
Police said that the at-fault driver turned himself in after being discharged from the hospital on the day of his victim's funeral. He was booked in the Pender County Jail. Bond was set at $175,000 bond. The driver had three prior DWI convictions in three different NC counties, with the most recent being in Duplin County four years ago.
His other convictions were in New Hanover County in 1993 and in Pender County in 2010. His next court appearance is set for Aug. 10.
The woman had just finished attending Cape Fear Community College, where she completed a course in Basic Law Enforcement Training, bringing her one step closer to fulfilling her dream of becoming a police officer. She desired to serve her community, and had an interview scheduled with the Fayetteville Police Department the day after she was killed.
Source: Fox Wilmington, "Family of fatal US 17 crash victim: 'Her dream was to be a police officer'," Marissa Hundley, July 22, 2016