SELMA – The State Highway Patrol has charged a Clayton man with second degree murder in connection with a fatal head on collision Saturday night, Nov. 26 on NC Highway 42 East near Lynch Road.
Kevin Shawn Kelly, age 55, was arrested by state troopers Tuesday upon his release from the hospital. In addition to the second degree murder charge, Kelly is also charged with felony death by motor vehicle, felony serious injury by a motor vehicle, driving while impaired, and driving left of center.
At approximately 8:59pm Saturday, the Highway Patrol said Kelly was traveling westbound in a blue Toyota Tundra when it crossed the centerline on NC Highway 42 and struck head on an eastbound black Ford Explorer.
The driver of the Explorer, Jose Ramirez-Hernandez, age 35, of Middlesex died at the scene. A passenger, Anna Hernandez, age 43, of Middlesex was critically injured. After being extricated from the Explorer, she was airlifted from the scene by a Duke LifeFlight helicopter.
Kelly was hospitalized until Tuesday for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. He is currently in the Johnston County Jail under a $1 million bond.
The Highway Patrol said the felony death by motor vehicle charge was upgraded to second degree murder after consultation with the Johnston County District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney’s Office also requested NC Alcohol Law Enforcement assist with the investigation, according to the Highway Patrol.
NC ALE said there was no information they could release at this time about their investigation.