Local News

Man involved in drag-racing deaths charged with DWI

Posted May 18, 2009

— A Raleigh man who was involved in a drag race on Interstate 540 that killed four teenagers eight years ago was charged recently with driving while impaired.

Chris Petersen, 25, of 6008 Wintergreen Drive, was charged May 9 with DWI, according to public records.

Petersen pleaded guilty in June 2004 to four counts of misdemeanor death by vehicle and one count of excessive speed in connection with the May 30, 2001, wreck that killed Bryan Reaves, Jamie Brewer, Mike Smith and Matthew Yurcak.

Prosecutors said Petersen was racing with the teens at the time of their deaths. Defense attorneys maintained the teens weren't racing and Petersen wasn't responsible for their deaths.

As part of his probation, Peterson was ordered not to drive for three years. He later served 90 days in jail for violating his probation by driving.

He also has outstanding charges for driving with revoked license in 2008 and 2009 and failure to report an accident.


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  • james27613 May 19, 2009

    Why is this man driving a large SUV vehicle as show in the
    wral video ????

    His recent actions are proof positive he has forgotten
    what he did that tragic night on I-540.

  • lvhv2003 May 19, 2009

    It looks like it is time to do some court monitoring all over this state. The courts let offenders like him beat charge after charge. Why? I think defense attorneys run the courtrooms in a lot of NC counties. Where do you think judges get their war chests for re-election? It is a totally broken system that lets people like Peterson continue to drive.

  • SaltlifeLady May 19, 2009

    Wow! Can we say "menace to society"? When is this guy going to be locked up? When 4 more people die directly from his actions?? Next time it will be him drving without a license while he is drunk! Put this guy in jail!

  • RonnieR May 19, 2009

    Even the good POs are carrying too many cases to properly supervise and this isn't a new problem in NC.

  • Professor May 19, 2009

    probation system in NC does not work.

    It would if you had the right people on the probation system.

  • RonnieR May 19, 2009

    anne, you must not know that the probation system in NC does not work.

  • squirrelsunlimited May 19, 2009

    How many more need to be killed before somethig is done? Sounds like several levels of the justice dept have no backbone.

  • colliedave May 19, 2009

    With the way the current laws are written, he will probably aviod doing any serious time. Instead of mandating what an individual can do with hia property, lawmakers need to work on controling the behavior of likemind individuals.

  • kingfather May 19, 2009

    He indirectly has caused 4 deaths, now arrested for DWI(which could have caused to more deaths on our roads), and violations of driving while license revoked. He doesn't understand that driving is not a right, but a privledge.He ignores the law, and puts the rest at risk. Time to take away driving and freedom for a while to help him get the message.Jail time is what he has asked for by his actions, so we should reward his request.

  • whatelseisnew May 19, 2009

    This clown needs to do serious jail time. 40 or 50 years ought to help him focus.