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Man Charged After Teen Dies In Rocky Mount Wreck

Posted December 28, 2006

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— A truck driver accused of causing a fatal accident in Rocky Mount will be in court on Friday.

According to investigators, Winfourd Whitaker was driving drunk on Christmas when he ran a red light and hit the passenger side of a car in which Shantae Smith, 16, was riding. Smith died Wednesday at Pitt Memorial Hospital. The driver of the car Smith was in also suffered injuries.

Whitaker, who was on his way to visit his daughter for Christmas, was charged with a red light violation and driving while impaired. He is being held on $20,000 bond.

Death by motor vehicle is a Class G felony and carries a possible eight- to 16-month prison sentence for first-time offenders. Authorities said Whitaker does not have a criminal record.

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  • ralwood Dec 29, 2006

    When you are man enough to drive drunk, and take someone's life. He should manup to receive the same sentence as 1st degree murder. He knew the chances he was taking before hand while drinking, and driving. This man was driving a 1 ton bullet! Who did the stray bullet kill? Now he has stole time from this family for the rest of their lives. $20,000.00 bond? It should be no bond allowed when a death accurs in this such case.

  • r u crazy too Dec 28, 2006

    Driving a tractor trailer and blowing a .16( 4 times the legal commercial license limit), at 11 in the morning, killing someone and only a $20,000 bond. When do the people in this state get the concept that some things some thing are not only legally wrong, but morally irresponsible. I wish our lawmakers in Raleigh would start representing the people instead of big business, and pass some laws to punish those who can't act responsible.

  • mom2threecld Dec 28, 2006

    people who drink and drive are the most arrogant of all people. 1 drink or 10 it's simple if you drive don't drink and if you drink don't drive. any idiot can follow that rule. i think that this amount of time is insufficient. this country has some crazy laws. rape and murder do less time than armed robbery for a bank. what gives?

  • luvtoflymycessna Dec 28, 2006

    Now I understand that a driving while license revoked is a bad charge. My is suspended for speeding tickets. What BURNS MY HIDE is that this guy will get off and keep his license while I sit here being punished way more than him. My sincere condolences to the victim's family and this guy should be in for life!

  • fairyswearboots2 Dec 28, 2006

    TOTBAL! Class G Felony 8 to 16 months for driving drunk and Murder? There Ought To Be A LAW this does not justifie
    Murder while Drunk. May Shantae Rest In Peace, As a Mother I would not want to be in her shoes right now.
    May You see Brighter Days Smith Family

  • narck9 Dec 28, 2006

    Eight to sixteen months in prison? How about the rest of his life to ensure another person is not a victim of felony death by motor vehicle.