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Teen Driver in Fatal Thanksgiving Weekend Wreck Arrested

Posted December 4, 2007
Updated December 5, 2007

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Editor's note: A previous version of this story erroneously indicated that Joel Duran was wanted by investigators for more than a week. Duran, however, was not charged in the accident until Monday.

A 16-year-old wanted in connection with a Thanksgiving weekend wreck that killed a woman and critically injured another teen was arrested Tuesday and charged with manslaughter.

Raleigh police located Joel Duran and took him into custody without incident, police spokesman Jim Sughrue said Tuesday.

Investigators believe drugs and speed possibly played a role in the Nov. 24 crash in which Duran was allegedly driving west on Interstate 40 between Hammond Road and Rock Quarry Road when he passed a car, left the roadway, overcorrected and then flipped.

Elizabeth Arch, 23, of Raleigh, and Duran's cousin, Zepherino Duran, 17, were ejected from the sport utility vehicle he was driving. Arch died at WakeMed; Zepherino Duran was listed Tuesday in critical condition at WakeMed.

Duran had been the subject of a search since the accident. His address is listed in police records as Reconciliation Drive in Raleigh, but no one in the neighborhood admitted to seeing him since the crash.

He also faces a charge of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury for the injuries sustained by Zephrino Duran and driving without a license.


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  • whatusay Dec 5, 2007

    anneonymousone - when I see a hispanic I assume he is illegal. Until all the illegals are sent back where the came from I have a right do do just that. The illegals are creating hatred for all hispanics. Open your eyes and see the destruction they are doing to this country.

  • JennaRink Dec 5, 2007

    I STRUGGLED to pay the inexperienced driver insurance rates when my son started driving...I can't possibly imagine not doing everything possible to "stay on top of" his driving habits. He was told from day one that the first "incident" of ANY kind would get him dropped from my policy, and he would then have to turn in his license to the DMV or find a way to pay those premiums himself. I honestly can't imagine any student working enough to pay those rates and managing to keep their grades up, too! My point is - HOW IN THE WORLD do these kids keep having accidents like this?

  • coolwill Dec 5, 2007

    And everyone wants to know....is he an illegal immigrant?

    You got that right!!!!

  • Funky Neighbor LEE Dec 5, 2007

    Evidently, you can run, but you can't hide. At least as well.

  • anneonymousone Dec 5, 2007

    What strikes me as remarkable is how many people here assume that he is A. an immigrant, B. here without papers, and/or C. to be judged according to A and B, and not according to the alleged thoughtlessness and recklessness which led to the crime with which he is charged.

    People without Spanish surnames have been on this continent since 1492, folks. They came without legal documents then, just as my English, Irish, Welsh, and (several thousand years before that) Native American ancestors did. And I would hazard a guess that many of the other white or mostly white people reading this are also descended from immigrants who arrived without visas.

  • Adelinthe Dec 5, 2007

    Hey! We were all young and dumb at some point of our lives. The kid made a terrible mistake that has caused the life of family members.

    Praying for those grieving.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • whatusay Dec 5, 2007

    Maybe Gov Easley will get him enrolled at a local community college where he has a better chance of learning to drive in NC.

  • patriotsrevenge Dec 5, 2007

    "If guilty, the death penalty should apply and as swiftly as possible." whatelseisnew

    Typical post from you whatelseisnew, I hope you get some help. I don't know what has made you so angry that you want everyone to die, but you should seriously get professional help.

  • PlanetX Dec 5, 2007

    Way to go, Mom & Dad. What a fine job you've done. BTW folks, says nothing in the article anywhere about his heritage nor does it say he was driving the wrong way. Read the article. He's just another teenager too irresponsible and wreckless to operate a vehicle - probably why he had no license. What is it with these kids?? Oh wait, that's the parents' job - I forgot!

  • doodad Dec 5, 2007

    A sorry sort to leave the scene, especially since one was his cousin.