NC Alcohol Law Enforcement is now assisting the NC Highway Patrol with an alcohol-related crash investigation that injured three local teens Saturday night on Buffalo Road about 3-1/2 miles north of Selma. Underage drinking played a role, WTSB News has learned, prompting ALE to now join the investigation.
At 7:58pm, a high performance 707-horsepower 2018 Jeep Trail Hawk was traveling northbound at a high rate of speed on Buffalo Road when the driver, 18 year-old Justice Daniel David Hewitt of Wendell, cross the centerline in a curve and struck a southbound 2014 Ford pickup driven by Dylan David Jones of Clayton.
After the impact the Jeep struck a ditch, then a tree with the rear of the vehicle, before coming to rest in the roadway. The truck ran off the roadway.
Hewitt and two teen passengers, from Clayton and Pine Level, were transported to Wake Medical Center in Raleigh for treatment of serious injuries.
WTSB News has learned all three occupants in the Jeep, two males and one female, had been consuming alcohol prior to the crash. NC ALE is investigating how the teens obtained the alcohol.
Hewitt has now been charged with driving while impaired and reckless driving by a provisional licensee. Troopers estimate that Hewitt was traveling 85mph in a 55mph zone at the time of impact. Jones, the driver of the pickup, was estimated to have been traveling the posted speed limit of 55mph. Jones was not injured and was not at fault.
The Jeep traveled 243 after impact. The truck traveled 118 feet. Damage to the Jeep was estimated at $60,000. Damage to the truck was estimated at $6,000 by the Highway Patrol.
Photos by John Payne