Murder Charge Filed Against Driver Involved In Fatal Crash

Photo by John Payne

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.

Photo by John Payne

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.

Photo by John Payne

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.

Photo by John Payne

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.


  1. Good! The authorities need to get tough on these DWI drivers, maybe it will inspire others to think before driving!

    • Authorities are tough on DWIs, its the courts that aren’t. DWI in and of itself should be a felony charge. Sad part is the law says anything .08 or over is illegal but most lawyers can easily get a DWI reduced or dismissed. Too many important people with too much power have made it that way, probably because they do it and think its ok. I guess they never lost a loved one to a drunk driver.

  2. So sad! I feel so badly for those poor people and their family.

    I have little sympathy for the drunk driver who killed him.

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