Spring Hope, N.C. — A driver traveling the wrong way on a Nash County highway died early Tuesday when, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said, his vehicle collided with a car carrying three teenage girls, killing one and injuring the other two.
Authorities said they believe both drivers had been drinking.
The wreck happened around 2 a.m. on U.S. Highway 64 near Frazier Road, about 4 miles southwest of Spring Hope.
A 34-year-old man was driving a 1989 Honda westward in the eastbound lanes when he hit a 2000 Chevrolet carrying three 17-year-old girls, Highway Patrol Sgt. David Wainwright said.
The man's name was not released, pending notification of his family. Beer cans could be seen on the floor of his wrecked car, along with a malt beverage behind the steering wheel.
Multiple motorists called 911 reporting the vehicle traveling in the wrong direction, including a woman who followed from the other side of the highway in the eastbound lane.
Documentation:Troopers released the name of the driver who was traveling in the wrong lane of U.S. 64 and crashed head on into another car carrying three 17-year-olds.
Troopers say 34-year-old Germain Gomez was driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of Highway 64 near Spring Hope around 2 AM Tuesday. They say he slammed into http://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=8201742889910597043another vehicle head-on, killing Brianna McLaughlin from Rocky Mount.
According to Troopers, Gomez had empty beer cans in the car and prescription drugs were also found with him. They say neither drug should have been used with alcohol.
Troopers say the medicine could cause dizziness and drowsiness - and he should not have used heavy machinery, such as a vehicle.
Gomez was staying with his mother in Raleigh but had a Virginia address. Troopers say Gomez had been a legal resident of the U.S. since 1995. (Not a citizen - why wasn't he deported?)
Virginia court records show the 34-year-old Gomez had numerous convictions, including two for speeding, two others for being drunk in public and another for driving on a revoked license. No record of any charges for him were found in North Carolina.
The Highway Patrol says alcohol was a factor for both drivers. The other driver, Paige Toelke of Nashville, remains at WakeMed in serious condition. Troopers say it could be several days or even weeks before they know about charges in the case because they have yet to talk to the two girls who survived the crash.