Local News

Driver Of Car That Killed Wakefield High Students Was Intoxicated

Posted April 11, 2006

— The teenage driver of a speeding car that flipped off an overpass last month, killing him and three friends, had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit for adult drivers, according to autopsy results.

Baker Sterling Wood, 18, had a blood alcohol level of .21 percent -- more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent for adult drivers --according to a toxicology report from the state medical examiner's office in Chapel Hill.

Wood and his friends, all students at Wakefield High School, were heading home from Greenville on March 4 after watching their school's basketball team win a state playoff game.

Police said Wood was driving his father's car at more than 100 mph on a ramp that led over and onto Interstate 440 when the car hit a concrete barrier and skidded along it for more than 400 feet before flying over the 3-foot-high wall and crashing to the ground nearly 60 feet below.

Wood, Steven George and Timothy Steinberg, all 18 years old, and Anthony Bostic, 17, were killed.

A search warrant released last month said police found empty beer cans that had come from the car scattered around the crash site.

"It's a crime to sell alcohol to someone who is not of legal drinking age," said Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue. "In this case, the tragic consequences prove that alcohol is a factor."

Students at Wakefield High School and their parents say the autopsy report confirms that drinking and driving kills.

"I'm hoping people realize this is terrible and learn to take care of their responsibilities," said Leigh Hieronymi, a student at Wakefield High.

"I don't think you throw up your hands and say, 'Kids are kids,'" said parent Joyce Nogales. "It's a serious issue and should be taken to heart. Parents need to be more involved with their kids."

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