Local News

Driver In Fayetteville Fatal Car Accident Turns Himself Into Police

Posted August 16, 2001

— A driver who was involved an accident that killed three of his passengers turned himself into Fayetteville police Thursday morning.

Investigators say 18-year-old Alton Pettijohn had been drinking before the accident. They say Pettijohn lost control of his car and hit a brick sign.

The accident killed 15-year-old June Huffnauer, 18-year-old Chris Mullins and Mullins' 20-year-old brother, Donald. Another passenger is still in the hospital in critical condition. Pettijohn walked away from the accident with minor injuries.

Pettijohn is charged with three counts of driving while impaired and three counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Pettijohn was going 55 in a 50 mph zone, but police say the main factor in the August 5 accident on Country Club Drive was alcohol. Police say his blood alcohol level was 0.16, twice the state's legal limit.

Bertie Ivey has only memories now of her two sons, Chris and Donald. She acknowledges her sons were drinking the night they died, but feels Pettijohn should be punished for thinking he could drink and drive.

After grieving for two weeks, she finds some relief in an arrest.

"I want to see justice done. I'm glad they picked him up," she says.

Pettijohn told reporters that he wants to take responsibility for the crime and admitted that he knows what he did was wrong.

Police said Pettijohn had been very open about the incident. They say that if the case did go to a jury trial, his sincerity could help his case.

Police say more arrests are pending. They are investigating how the teens got the alcohol in the first place.

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