Local News

Raleigh Police Make Arrest In Connection With 2001 Wreck

Posted August 4, 2003

— Raleigh police have made an arrest in connection with an accident that killed four local teenagers on Interstate 540 two years ago.

Christopher Petersen, 19, of Raleigh, faces four counts of involuntary manslaughter stemming from the 2001 accident.

According to police, Petersen was racing a car driven by Bryan Reaves. Investigators said Reaves lost control of his car at speeds in excess of 100 miles an hour.

Reaves and three friends

were killed after the car they were in crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a van.

Reaves, 18; Jamie Lynn Brewer, 17; David Michael Smith, 17, and Matthew William Yurcak, 17, all of Wake County, died in the accident. A family of five in the van were injured.

The charges against Petersen are based on evidence not available at the time of the accident, according to the Raleigh Police Department.

Petersen was released from jail Saturday night on $80,000 secured bond.

There are four trees along I-540 that symbolize the deaths of the four friends.

The mother of one of the victims spoke out about Saturday's arrest.

"If he's found guilty, he should be held accountable," Dee Welch said of Petersen. "My daughter and her three friends were held accountable, and you don't know what they did or what they agreed to. They paid a a huge price."

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