Family of men killed in Durham crash struggle with driver's release
Posted December 30, 2013
Durham, N.C. — The family of two brothers killed in a crash last Friday said Monday that they don't understand how the driver charged in the wreck isn't in jail.
Robert Portner Breeden III, 20, of 10900 Cahill Road in Raleigh, is charged with two counts of felony death by motor vehicle and driving while impaired. He was released on a $500,000 bond.
He didn't utter a word in his first court appearance Monday, and both he and his attorney declined to comment afterward.
According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Breeden was westbound on N.C. Highway 98 early Friday when his 2010 Dodge Ram pickup crossed the center line and collided with an Isuzu Rodeo SUV near the Coley Road intersection.
Jorge Avalar, 43, and his brother, Andreas Avalar, 47, both of Ruby Ridge Drive in Durham, died in the wreck.
Troopers said Breeden was high on marijuana at the time, adding that they found drug paraphernalia in his truck. They are awaiting a full toxicology report from the state crime lab.
The Avalar brothers, both from El Salvador, had been living in Durham for about a decade, according to relatives.
Jorge Avalar was driving his brother to his construction job Friday morning, the family said, calling both men hard workers.
Andreas Avalar is survived by a wife and six children, while his brother leaves behind a wife and two sons. The bodies of both men are being flown to El Salvador for funerals on Friday.
The Avalar family said they fear Breeden could hurt someone else if he gets behind the wheel again.
Breeden has previously been charged with a hit-and-run with property damage in Wake County and possession of synthetic marijuana in Chatham County. He's due in court on those charges next month.