Troopers: Driver charged with DWI in fatal I-85 wreck

Posted September 13, 2016
Updated September 15, 2016

— One person was killed and Interstate 85 was closed in both directions for several hours Tuesday because of a crash.

The road was closed at about 4:15 p.m. near exit 165 in Hillsborough and completely reopened at about 11 p.m.

Investigators said that a passenger van driven by Robert Jason Mace, 40, of Graham was traveling south on I-85 when the vehicle ran off the right shoulder of the road and struck the rear of a stationary tractor trailer. The van continued on and collided with a Toyota pick-up truck driven by 41-year-old Jason Graffunder, of Burlington, causing the Toyota to overturn.

The front seat passenger in the van, 35-year-old Lisa Nicole Parker, of Mebane, died as a result of the crash. Mace and Graffunder were taken to Duke Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Mace was charged with felony death by motor vehicle, felony serious injury by motor vehicle, DWI, careless and reckless driving, failure to maintain lane control and improper passing, according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

According to records from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Mace has been cited for driving with a revoked license five times since 2007.

Traffic was backed up for several hours as authorities worked to clear the scene.


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  • Ken Ackerman Sep 14, 2016
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    The last two times I got near vehicles I thought were being driven by a drunk, turned out the driver was actually texting. Perhaps texting should be considered DWI as well...

  • Johnny Roberts Sep 14, 2016
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    I figured that when they actually started charging people with murder when they killed someone as a result of drinking and driving, then people would stop. We've had this law for how long now?? It's seems to have picked up to me. It's all over the news almost every day now. (Don't know true stats).. but it does seem to me that it's on the rise.... I don't understand how hard it is to not drive after drinking .... something has to be done.. prayers to all the families that lose loved one because of drinking and driving.

  • Lisa Hooke Sep 14, 2016
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    Oh, yes. The evil GOP caused the driver to drink and cause this crash.

  • Lance Boyle Sep 14, 2016
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    Alcohol seems to be a factor in many fatal crashes. Instead of judgments against enforceable laws, the GOP is still wasting time on HB2. Time to look a real issue instead. Eyes wide shut