Local News

Man Charged in Wrong-Way Wreck in U.S. Illegally

Posted October 31, 2007

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— Federal authorities confirmed Wednesday that a man accused of going the wrong way on Interstate 540 and causing a wreck was in the U.S. illegally.

Eblin Fabiel Ocampo-Cruz, 22, was charged with driving while impaired, reckless driving, failure to reduce speed and possession of a revoked license in connection with an Oct. 25 wreck on I-540 between Creedmoor and Six Forks roads.

Agents with the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Cruz, a native of Honduras, was charged in 2000 with being an alien in the U.S. and was ordered to be deported two years later. Because he didn't leave the country, he has been considered a fugitive, authorities said.

Authorities said Cruz was driving westbound on eastbound I-540 when he collided head-on with a Ford Mustang. He and the driver of the Mustang, Bettie Coates, 42, of Wake County, were still hospitalized at WakeMed on Wednesday.

At the time of the wreck, Cruz was on probation for several offenses, according to court records.

In February 2006, he was convicted in Durham of DWI. A month later, he was convicted of misdemeanor unauthorized use of a vehicle and misdemeanor breaking and entering. In May 2006, he pleaded pleaded guilty to reckless driving and passing an emergency vehicle. Last October, he was charged with resisting an officer, and he was charged with possession of stolen goods in December.

Authorities said they are aware of the federal warrant against Cruz, but they said the local criminal cases take precedence over the deportation order.