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Driver charged with DWI in wreck on 15-501

Posted July 28, 2008
Updated July 29, 2008

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— Durham police have identified the driver whose recklessness caused the closure of northbound U.S. Highway 15-501.

Miguel Angel Pina Mata, 34, of Pinegate Circle, was charged with DWI, careless and reckless driving and possession of an open container of alcohol, Durham Police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said Monday.

Mata and his passenger, Ector Cantu Chavez, were treated at Duke University Hospital after the wreck destroyed a guardrail along northbound U.S. Highway 15-501 over Cornwallis Road.

According to witnesses, Mata swerved across both lanes of traffic, hit the guardrail and spun around. Police believe he was traveling about 90 mph at the time of the crash.

Officials from the N.C. Department of Transportation surveyed the damage and removed a 20-foot section of the concrete guardrail. The outer northbound lane of U.S. Highway 15-501 will remain closed during repairs, which should be completed sometime Tuesday evening.

Without the guardrail, a DOT spokesman said, there is nothing to prevent a vehicle from driving off the highway and falling onto Cornwallis Road below.

"We're going to be doing an evaluation and assessment of the damage," a DOT engineer said Monday morning. "And we'll be doing a demolition of the damaged portion to clean up the area."

37 Comments

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  • mike275132 Jul 28, 2008

    Just another hard working Hispanic driving drunk. What so wrong? They do all the time in the home country.
    All unlimited third world immigration, get third world conditions here.

  • cassijosh Jul 28, 2008

    Considering the problem of illegal alien Hispanic drunk driving, I'm curious as why the legal status isn't addressed in the article. I'm also curious how hortonatc knows the legal status. As for BobbyJ's comment, we have enough drunk drivers of our own without importing more through illegal immigration.

  • readme Jul 28, 2008

    The only way to combat this problem is to stiffen the penalties for DUIs. Combine that with more robust programs for protecting our border and deporting illegals already here. Even if these guys were legal, it's obvious getting rid of illegals will cut down on DUIs in this county. This is so simple, why are our elected officials not listening?

  • Celt Jul 28, 2008

    I came upon the wreck a little while after it happened while driving northbound. It was nasty!

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 28, 2008

    How many more of these articles are we going to read before soemthing is done??

    Thousands and thousands more until somebody gets it.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 28, 2008

    10 years in prison should teach a lesson.

  • Blueboxinggloves Jul 28, 2008

    hortonatc - Where do you get your information from?
    I didn't see anywhere in the story that told of their citizenship status or the types of jobs they had.

  • ifcdirector Jul 28, 2008

    "Drinking and driving are not restricted to a single grp of people legal or not"

    No but the hugely disproportionate number in this state from one group does not lend much support to your theory that any of the other groups come remotely close to that group on a per capita basis either. So your point is not worth anything.

  • another opinion Jul 28, 2008

    Drinking and driving are not restricted to a single grp of people legal or not. We have bars and ABC stores that sell liquor to " Adults" who know how to drink responsibly. There is no way law enforcement can stop it. It is up to the person who is drinking to be responsible enough no to drive. Unfortunately this will not happen anytime soon.

  • whatelseisnew Jul 28, 2008

    bobbyj

    Please tell me you plan on moving to another country, or at least to another state.

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