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More charges filed in fatal motorcycle wreck

Posted September 30, 2010

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— Police on Thursday upgraded the charges against a Smithfield man in a weekend wreck that killed a motorcyclist and injured another person.

Keith McClain's car collided with a motorcycle near the intersection of South Brightleaf Boulevard and Crestview Drive in Smithfield at about 7 p.m. Sunday.

Gary Wayne Greenwaldt, 43, of Four Oaks, and Rebecca Ann Tilley, 35, of Dudley, were thrown from Greenwaldt's motorcycle, police said. Greenwaldt died at WakeMed in Raleigh, and Tilley was critically injured.

McClain, 49, wasn't injured in the wreck.

He was initially charged with driving while impaired and failure to reduce speed after deputies determined his breath-alcohol level was 0.27, which is more than three times the level at which drivers are considered intoxicated under North Carolina law.

On Thursday, police filed felony death by motor vehicle and felony serious injury by vehicle charges against McClain. He was being held in the Johnston County jail under a $60,000 bond.

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  • Raleigh Joe Sep 30, 2010

    By statute it is 2nd degree murder. It is up to the DA's office to seek an indictment.

  • kristy3 Sep 30, 2010

    An accidental "dealth by motor vehicle" is one thing, but when you have an aggravating factor like speed, DUI, repeat offender etc..... i think it should be murder!

  • JKKC Sep 30, 2010

    His final sentencing will depend on whether or not he has a previous record for DUI. First time offender will be able to plea down, repeat offender, he's taking a long vacation!!!

  • Bill of Rights Sep 30, 2010

    Oh, I agree 100% Lightfoot3 ... I'm just sayin'.

  • justjean Sep 30, 2010

    I'm sick and tired of my brothers and sisters dying to preserve America's right to drive like fools!!

  • Lightfoot3 Sep 30, 2010

    While I understand the sentiment, this doesn’t seem to fit the bill for murder as the law describes it. I think we need a new, harsh law to deal with those that drink, drive, and kill without having to apply an existing law that doesn’t fit (and thus risking convictions being overturned).

  • seankelly15 Sep 30, 2010

    A Wake County DA tried tried this little caper a few years ago, won the case and the conviction was thrown out. The courts ruled that the criminal code does not apply to what is essentially a traffic violation. Death by motor vehicle is the section of the penal code that pertains to these cases.

  • GWALLY Sep 30, 2010

    Murder..plain and simple. Could have been prevented except for the deliberate act of drinking alcohol and then deliberately driving!!!

  • Eastern N.C. Native Sep 30, 2010

    Agreed Mike H.

  • Bill of Rights Sep 30, 2010

    Hopefully he faces a charge of first degree murder - unless it can be demonstrated that his decision to drink was entirely spontaneous, in which case we can settle for second degree murder.