Local News

Trooper Chase Ends In Fatal Wreck Near RDU International

Posted June 2, 2006

— Authorities say one person died in a chase involving members of the state Highway Patrol near RDU International.

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The accident happened on Aviation Parkway near Interstate 40 shortly before 5 a.m. Trooper R.E. Cannaday stopped a white Honda Accord for going 75 mph in a 55 mph zone.

When a trooper approached the vehicle, the driver drove away and led authorities on a chase from Wade Avenue onto westbound Interstate 40 toward the airport.

"I then proceeded to chase the vehicle down I-40 westbound, got approximately to a speed of 110 (mph)," said Cannady.

The trooper says he saw the car cross the median into oncoming traffic on Aviation Parkway, where it hit a garbage truck head-on. According to Waste Industries, the truck weighed 20 tons. Cannady said the crash was so violent he saw the truck go airborne when it hit the car

The driver of the car died in the accident. A passenger in the car was taken to the hospital. There is no word on that person's condition. Troopers said the passenger in the car had a loaded gun.

The driver of the garbage truck, 32-year-old Renald Griffin, was also injured and taken to the hospital. He has since been treated and released.

Authorities know the identity of the driver and the passenger in the car, but they have not yet released that information.

Part of Aviation Parkway was shut down while authorities conducted their investigation.

This incident marks the

second chase

involving authorities in the past three days. Cary Police say Alecyn Ross was driving a car Wednesday night that her parents reported stolen. Both Raleigh police and the Highway Patrol were involved in an ensuing chase.

During the pursuit, police say Ross sideswiped a minivan and hit a utility pole near Tryon and Avent Ferry Roads. Ross died in the crash.

Col. Fletcher Clay, the head of the North Carolina Highway Patrol, has reviewed the facts of both crashes. He stood by the patrol's policy to chase at the trooper's discretion. He said he doesn't like the message of a no-chase policy.

"We don't want people to know that the way to evade arrest or to get away from troopers is to simply accelerate to a particular speed and the Highway Patrol will turn you loose," said Clay.

Clay said troopers acted within chase policy guidelines in both cases, but both cases are under review.

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