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Driver who caused fatal I-40 crash had similar wreck day earlier

Posted December 4, 2015
Updated December 5, 2015

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— A truck driver involved in a crash on Interstate 40 last month that killed a Raleigh teen had been involved in a similar wreck the preceding day, according to accident reports.

Eddie Urieta-Yanez, 19, died Nov. 21 when his car was hit from behind on the ramp from U.S. Highway 70 to westbound Interstate 40 in Garner.

Ublester Urieta said his son was at a party the night before and was stopped on his way home by a Wake County deputy, who ticketed the teen for speeding and underage consumption of alcohol. After that, Urieta-Yanez pulled off on the ramp and called his cousin to ask her to pick him up.

State Highway Patrol troopers said his 1996 Toyota wasn't completely off the highway and on the shoulder, which is why it was hit by a box truck driven by Brendan Patrick Hurley of Lucama. The collision forced the truck over the top of Urieta-Yanez's car, according to the accident report.

Hurley wasn't charged in the crash because the Toyota was parked improperly, the report states.

That angers Urieta-Yanez's family, especially when they learned the Hurley was involved in a similar wreck the day before.

In that incident, he was driving another box truck and ran into the back of an SUV on eastbound I-40 near the U.S. 70 interchange. The SUV, driven by Ricky Driver of Zebulon, was pulling off onto the shoulder and had its flashers on when it was hit, the accident report states.

That driver wasn't hurt, and Hurley was charged with failure to reduce speed.

"I don't understand," Urieta said of the lack of a criminal charge in his son's death.

The recent Athens Drive High School graduate hoped to become a Marine one day, his father said.

"It's very sad," he said. "He left too soon."

Hurley has a clean driving record except for a 2009 conviction for driving while impaired.

He couldn't be reached for comment Friday, but Judith Pate, who owns both trucks, said he continues to drive for her.

Pate called Urieta-Yanez's death "an unfortunate accident."

Urieta has hired an attorney, saying he plans to seek the justice the family believes has not been served.

Meanwhile, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said he is looking into why his deputy allowed Urieta-Yanez to drive away from the traffic stop even though he knew the teen had been drinking.

10 Comments

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  • Sara Hauser Dec 6, 2015
    user avatar

    Why was he only ticketed and not taken downtown ?

  • bad929 Dec 5, 2015

    View quoted thread


    Yes DWI isn't something to claim having a "clean record". Running stop sign, speeding, much different then "oh i'm good, only drove drunk once".

  • LetsBeFair Dec 5, 2015

    One could not disagree with Sonja's logic. Except for the circumstances that used to get an old wise man into trouble. When he'd use an example and put a Roman in the car and change the box truck driver to a Jew. ;)

  • Ryan Gray Dec 5, 2015
    user avatar

    Sounds like a tragic situation, but this story seems to gloss over the kid's mistakes here in support of creating an unbalanced agenda.

  • Sonja Yagel Dec 5, 2015
    user avatar

    The two wrecks had nothing to do with each other. Its tragic, but the kid was driving drunk, was pulled over, not all the way off the highway, which he should have been, and was hit. I am sorry for the family but the truck driver was not at fault, your child's irresponsibility led to this.

  • LetsBeFair Dec 5, 2015

    "Hurley has a clean driving record except for a 2009 conviction for driving while impaired." To Me, this sounds like, I've never had children except for my son.

  • Michael Diaz Dec 5, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    that's right, they forgot to mention that, every time a LATINO pops out on their notes...the make sure to make those Racist and Shameful remarks ..

  • LetsBeFair Dec 5, 2015

    I'm surprised WRAL didn't ask if he were in the country illegally. Plus this quote ==> Hurley has a clean driving record except for a 2009 conviction for driving while impaired.

  • Michael Diaz Dec 5, 2015
    user avatar

    yeag right...think if the situation was the opposite way..the Latino that killed an American....it would be top story for you guys....doing what it takes to put him in Jail and Deport him if possible...but since the Latino is the one Died....was no big deal for you guys....so sad...

  • Bob Bucy Dec 5, 2015
    user avatar

    I am very concerned that WRAL is trying to convict this truck driver of something in the court of public opinion. The accident the day before and this accident do not appear to be related in any way, and it appears to be an unfortunate coincidence.