Driver who caused fatal I-40 crash had similar wreck day earlier
Posted December 4, 2015
Updated December 5, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.