Local News

Wake County Sheriff's Deputy Killed In Line Of Duty

Posted September 6, 2003

— The Wake County Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal collision Friday night involving a Wake County deputy.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison confirmed the death of 33-year-old deputy William Franklin James II. Harrison said James had been with the department for three years and was scheduled to be promoted to the K-9 unit.

James became the first Wake County deputy to lose his life in the line of duty since 1933.

According to the Highway Patrol, the accident occured shortly after 8:30 p.m. James was responding to an emergency domestic-violence call about an assault and an allegedly armed perpetrator still on the scene at at 2401 Darnely Drive in Garner.

James lost control of his patrol car traveling east in a curve on Rand Road near Wood Oak Road. His vehicle crossed into the west-bound lane and collided head-on with a vehicle traveling west on Rand Road. He died after being transported to WakeMed.

The female teenage driver in the other vehicle also was transported to WakeMed. She was the only passenger in the vehicle.

"She is in serious condition," said Patty McQuillan, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

The Highway Patrol has called a reconstruction unit to the scene to conduct the investigation.

A woman who knows the teen and heard the accident said she just recently got her driver license.

Other responding deputies continued to the assault call. Debra Ann Adkins, who lived in the house, was arrested and charged with assault. She was released from the Wake County Jail on $2,000 unsecured bond Friday night.

James, who lived in Morrisville, had prior law-enforcement experience with the Rockingham Police Department, the Sunset Beach Police Department and the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office. He also was an eight-year veteran of the United States Navy.

James is survived by his wife and son and his mother and one brother, who live in Gibsonville, N.C.


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