Local News

Alcohol, speed factors in fatal Johnston crash

Posted February 16, 2013
Updated February 28, 2013

— Authorities say alcohol and speed were factors in an early-morning wreck Saturday in Johnston County that killed a teen and sent two others to a local hospital.

William Lee Tippett, 18, of Garner, was thrown from a Ford Ranger pickup truck that he was riding in shortly after 3 a.m., when the crash occurred on westbound Josephine Road, just south of Clayton.

David Finch, a trooper with North Carolina Highway Patrol, said Bryan Davis Gilmore, 17, of Smithfield, was going approximately 85 mph in a 45 mph speed zone when he lost control of the truck on a curve and went off the road, flipping the vehicle several times.

Tippett, he said, was not wearing his seat belt.

"(The truck was) totally demolished, upside down on its roof," Finch said. "The impact of the truck as so great it actually ripped the stereo out of the dashboard."

Gilmore and another passenger, Joseph Brewer, 16, of Clayton, were taken to WakeMed in Raleigh and were later released.

Johnston County wreck Garner teen killed in DWI crash

Gilmore faces charges of driving while impaired, reckless driving and being impaired under age.

Finch said more charges are possible.

The three The Highway Patrol is working with the state Alcohol Law Enforcement to investigate how the teens got alcohol.

Tippett was a senior at Cleveland High School, where Gilmore and Brewer also attend, according to family and friends.

Shay Hartklopf knew Tippett since middle school.

"He had the best personality. He always knew how to make somebody laugh," she said. "It's heartbreaking. School is really going to stink tomorrow. It's really not going to be the same without him."

Cleveland High parents say they hope his death serves as a wake-up call.

"There's got to be something where we can stop these kids from doing what they're doing," parent Kelly Hartklopf said. "I'm heartbroken these kids are dying."

19 Comments

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  • Karma0784 Feb 20, 9:09 a.m.

    I couldn't imagine driving 85 on that road. It is so curvy.

  • mcraineycrazies Feb 18, 5:35 p.m.

    sorry to say, but moving here from morrisville, seems like the normal down here is to have teenage parties and to drink alcohol and smoke pot, hate to say that is like the normal teen here, thank god my 18 year old is being smart about her decisions,, got two more kids to go, and i plan on drilling it in thier heads too

  • JustMeHere Feb 18, 4:21 p.m.

    Will was a friend of my children's ... he was a super nice guy ... prayers for his friends and family ... and no criticism from this parent ... they all know what they did wrong and have to live with that. RIP Will

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Feb 18, 3:20 p.m.

    were lucky to have an easy lesson taught to us;

    Through bragging? I hope so and certainly wish you have learn from your wayward ways. Teach others why they should not drink and drive.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Feb 18, 3:19 p.m.

    but we were going 30 mph, not wearing our seat belts and guess what; we were just fine.

    THAT WAS A MISTAKE IN NOT WEARING YOUR SEATBELTS. YOU SHOULD BE ABSOLUTELY THANKFUL THAT YOU ARE ALIVE TODAY. ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEATBELTS WHEN IN THE VEHICHLE AND OUT ON THE ROADS AND HIGHWAYS. BE SAFE.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Feb 18, 3:18 p.m.

    When me and my High school friends (this almost 20 years ago

    IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN TODAY, HOW WILL YOU TEACH THEM ABOUT DRINKING ALCOHOL AND THE EFFECT IT WILL HAVE ON THEIR LIFE? YOU HAVE THE EXPERIENCE, SO GO FOR IT!

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Feb 18, 3:16 p.m.

    I was stupid just like these kids in the fact that driving after getting messed up and even got into a wreck with a friend who was driving,

    Yes you were. NEVER, EVER GET INTO A VEHICLE WHEN YOU KNOW THE PERSON THAT IS DRIVING HAS BEEN DRINKING ALCOHOL. ITS BETTER TO CALL SOMEONE TO COME PICK YOU UP OR JUST WALK.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Feb 18, 3:10 p.m.

    How did this young man get this alcohol beverage? He was under-age, so someone had to purchase it for him. If that is so true, then the detectives should find this info out and that person should certainly be charge, even the parents if they did not have the alcohol locked up.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Feb 18, 2:55 p.m.

    How many other students at this school was alcohol drinkers? He was certainly not the only one. Those that are drinking, I suggest you get immediated help, NOW! Save your life, you have a lot to live for. Don't drink because everybody else is doing it. Matter of fact, find some new friends that don't indulge in that stuff. Its not good for you any way.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Feb 18, 2:43 p.m.

    vehicle should be placed at the entrance to the student parking lot

    Students know the dangers of drinking and driving, yet they make the wrong choice of doing it any way. Putting the vehicle on the schools campus will serve no purpose for many.

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