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Woman Injured in Wrong-Way Wreck Angry, Thankful

Posted November 27, 2007
Updated November 28, 2007

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— A woman injured in a head-on collision after a man drove the wrong way on Interstate 540 said she would like him to know how much he has taken from her.

Bettie Coates, 42, was headed home from work early on Oct. 25 when she was involved in the wreck on eastbound I-540 between Creedmoor and Six Forks roads.

"I was like, 'Oh my God.' I was like, 'That's a car,'" Coates said, noting that the other driver flicked on his lights a split-second before the collision. "I didn't see him. I couldn't turn. I didn't have time to react. I didn't have time to do anything."

Eblin Fabiel Ocampo Cruz, 22, has been charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon, driving while impaired, reckless driving, failure to reduce speed and possession of a revoked license in connection with the wreck.

Authorities said Cruz is in the country illegally.

Coates, who had recently moved back to North Carolina from Pittsburgh, was trapped inside her Ford Mustang, which was crushed in the collision.

"I just remember a lot of blood just running down my face," she said.

The wreck shattered her thigh and ankle bones, and she underwent three surgeries during 29 days in WakeMed. She has moved in with her grandparents in Northampton County for the next few months while she recuperates.

Her lack of mobility makes it difficult to keep up with her 2-year-old son, Donovan, she said.

"He wants me to play with him. He doesn't understand why Mommy can't do certain things," she said.

Coates said she has thought about writing a letter to Cruz to let him know how hard it is for her not to play with Donovan, not to go check on the construction of her house and not to return to work.

"He's taken a lot from me," she said. "For him to have sneaked into the country (and) then for him to just think he can do whatever he can do and get away with it is very frustrating."

Still, she said, she's thankful to be alive. Passers-by who stopped to help her after the wreck said they were amazed she survived, she said.

"The good Lord up above wasn't ready for me. I do believe he has a reason and a purpose for me being here, and he spared my life. I really do," she said.

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  • haggis basher Nov 29, 2007

    The republicans will do nothing as illegals provide cheap labour and force down wages here which is good for business and thats who pays for them to get elected. The democrats will do nothing as the illegals are making new poor democrat voters as fast nature allows.

  • Sessy - Italiana Nov 29, 2007

    How many more US citizens are going to get killed/injured by illegals?

  • ehjh Nov 29, 2007

    As I understand the history of this illegal he was actually ordered deported back in 2000 and because he did not leave the country was considered to be a fugitive. In 2006 he was convicted of DWI and also after that another few charges of unauthorised use of a moter vehicle and breaking and entering. Later on he was charged and pled guilty to reckless driving and passing an emergency vehicle. After that he was charged with resisting an officer and possession of stolen goods.

    Now what is interesting to me is that he apparently went through our legal system with all of this criminal activity AFTER he was deemed to be an illegal and ordered deported and considered by our laws a fugitive!!!

    How does that work? Is there no means of carrying out the actual deportation process. Is that just a job that no one wants? Probably the job is filled by an ILLEGAL ALIEN.

  • dogmama Nov 28, 2007

    ANOTHER reason to get illegals out of the country. We need to protect our borders and our own LEGAL citizens.

  • lovethecrazycomment Nov 28, 2007

    the comments directed to "liberal pro-illegals" crack me up....the so-called conservatives were in charge of all three branches of the government for six years and what have they done to stop the flow of people walking across our borders?????? sounds like maybe the conservative pro illegals should be who you are directing your comments to!!!!

    DRUNK DRIVING is what we really need to crack down on! my husband was killed by a drunk driver, and believe it or not, he wasn't an immigrant!!!! the drunk was an all american fire fighter!!!!

  • cuteboyd Nov 28, 2007

    I would be angry as well but she's in my prayers.

  • angora2 Nov 28, 2007

    Why the reluctance to directly address illegal immigration? Candidates need $$; big corporations give them $$; big corporations love cheap labor.

  • lock Nov 28, 2007

    Do our elected officals not see the ramifications of allowing illegal immigrants to overrun the country (estimated 12 to 20 million and counting)?

  • pete Nov 28, 2007

    people we can ALL do somthing about our ILLEGAL hispanic problem,just use your pocketbook , stop using any goods or services that you know are using illegal laybor , as a consumer you have the right to ask for proof before you hire them for any job, stop buying from stores that employee illegal hispanics,stop the flow of money , you stop the flow of immigrants.

  • nc resident Nov 28, 2007

    didn't I see that guy driving in London a few weeks ago? he must be english driving the wrong way.....

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