Driver Convicted Of Murder In Deadly Head On Collision

A Johnston County woman has been was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to causing a fatal head on crash last year while traveling at speeds up to 100 miles per hour.

The deadly crash occurred on January 11, 2016 on Highway 42 outside of Kenly.

Amanda Leighann Allen, 21, of Triston Court, Kenly was pregnant at the time of the crash. Prosecutors said she had been smoking marijuana and had snorted Percocet prior to driving that night.

On Tuesday, she pled guilty to second-degree murder charges in the deadly crash that claimed the life of 25 year-old Louis Brandon Howell of Whitley Road, Middlesex.  Howell was returning home from work when he was killed.

Troopers said Allen was headed eastbound on Highway 42 when her 2010 Dodge struck Howell’s 1981 Chevy truck head on. Two passengers in Allen’s car sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries.  She was indicted by a Grand Jury on second-degree murder charges two months after the accident.

After Allen entered her guilty plea to the second-degree murder, Judge W. Douglas Parsons sentenced her to serve a minimum of 10 years to a maximum of 13 years in prison.

District Attorney Susan Doyle and Assistant District Attorney Paul Jackson prosecuted the case.  Attorney Antoan Whidbee represented the defendant.

“The State would like to thank Trooper M.E. Sellers with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, as well as Sergeant F.A. Trueblood, and Trooper R.W. Murphy with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol Collision Reconstruction Unit for their thorough investigation in this case,” District Attorney Doyle said. “This defendant engaged in behavior that was willful, reckless, and in total disregard for human life.”

“It is important to send a message that driving while impaired and driving at a high rate of speed will not be tolerated. As citizens of Johnston County, we deserve to feel secure as we drive on our highways,” the District Attorney said.

2016 scene photos by John Payne