Impaired Driver Flees Scene After Fatal Crash

A driver who fled from the scene of a fatal crash that killed a passenger in his pickup truck is now in custody.

The single vehicle accident was reported at 7:48pm Saturday on Highway 55 near Highway 96 in southern Johnston County near the Sampson County line.

According to the Highway Patrol, Luis Albert Mendosa-Jiminez, 33, of Dunn was traveling on Highway 55 when he lost control of his truck, which overturned several times off the roadway coming to rest on its roof.

After the collision, Mendosa-Jiminez cut his seat belt to free himself and fled from the accident scene on foot.

First responders from the Meadow Fire Department and Johnston County EMS arrived and found the front right seat passenger dead inside the truck. He was still restrained in his seat belt. The victim was not identified until Sunday. Troopers identified the deceased passenger as Oscar Samarron Salazar of Dunn.

Immediately after the crash, Johnston and Sampson County authorities began searching for the driver who fled from the scene. A Johnston County deputy and state trooper located Mendosa-Jiminez walking about a half mile away.

Luis Albert Mendosa-Jiminez

Troopers said Mendosa-Jiminez denied being in an accident but could not explain recent injuries which were consistent with a rollover motor vehicle accident. He was evaluated at the scene by Johnston County EMS before being taken into custody.

Mendosa-Jiminez was charged with aggravated felony death by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, felony fleeing the scene of a collision, reckless driving, and driving on a revoked license. Authorities said his license were revoked due to a previous alcohol related incident. He is being held in the Johnston County Jail under a $1 million bond.

Scene photos by Thomas Honeycutt