Local News

Charges Possible in Wake Deputy Crash

Posted January 3, 2008
Updated January 4, 2008

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers were expected to meet with Wake County prosecutors Thursday to discuss possible charges against a deputy involved in a wreck while responding to a pursuit of carjacking suspects.

Master Deputy Anthony Locklear, 37, crossed the center line on Rock Quarry Road near Ruby Drive shortly after 6 p.m. Wednesday, colliding head-on with a Kia driven by Brenda Smith, 58, authorities said.

Locklear's cruiser then spun around and hit a second vehicle, driven by Ralph Ellis.

Smith was listed in critical condition at WakeMed Thursday evening. Locklear, Ellis and two passengers in Ellis' car were treated at a local hospital and released.

Highway Patrol investigators believe Locklear was travelling at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his cruiser on a sharp curve.

The question investigators and prosecutors have to answer is whether Locklear was somehow negligent.

"We do have the lights and siren and do have the authority to run lights and siren to try to assist or respond to a call," Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Everett Clendenin said. "But that doesn't elevate you above the law."

Brenda Smith who works for Wake County Human services was in critical condition at WakeMed Thursday night

"Nobody's above the law. Law enforcement is treated just like other motorists out travelling on the highway," Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Everett Clendenin said.

"That's not saying that this deputy has done anything wrong. We're still investigating at this time."

Locklear was responding to a pursuit on U.S. Highway 64 Bypass when the wreck occurred, Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Wednesday.

A Knightdale woman said two armed men stole her Honda Accord as she was leaving home. Wake County deputies later spotted the car on U.S. 64 Bypass and engaged in a low-speed chase to try to stop the driver.

"We were trying to make sure we stopped him before he hit somebody else," Harrison said.

The Accord hit several vehicles during the incident before the occupants ditched the car at Rock Quarry Road and Atkins Drive. A 16-year-old girl and a male juvenile were arrested while running from authorities.

Authorities were still searching Thursday for two more people connected to the carjacking.

A Highway Patrol accident reconstruction team returned to Rock Quarry Road Thursday to try to determine what caused Locklear and the other cars to wreck.

"Regretfully, somebody did get hurt," Harrison said. "We're involved in it, and we're going to work through it and see what caused it. The Highway Patrol will be able to tell me some answers, and we'll look at it from there."

Locklear has been with the Wake County Sheriff's Office since 1999. His job status remains in tact while an investigation is under way.

332 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • leo-nc Jan 5, 2008

    What is your point?

  • parr4246 Jan 5, 2008

    to all of you know it alls and your postings-
    "We do have the lights and siren and do have the authority to run lights and siren to try to assist or respond to a call," Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Everett Clendenin said. "But that doesn't elevate you above the law."

    "Nobody's above the law. Law enforcement is treated just like other motorists out travelling on the highway," Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Everett Clendenin said.

  • lizard Jan 5, 2008

    "Reckless" for an LEO is different than reckless for a citizen. Courts have said so.

  • str8thuggin Jan 5, 2008

    Amen leo Amen....

  • leo-nc Jan 5, 2008

    "Unbelievable-some of the ignorant comments regarding this"

    Oh I find it very believable. You wouldn't believe what some of the people will tell you out on the road. They think they know the law and how you are supposed to do your job when in reality, they have no clue. The funny thing is, they are the same ones who run from danger when confronted. go figure.

  • nanny Jan 4, 2008

    Unbelievable-some of the ignorant comments regarding this-I'm
    sure if you were the victim of a crime-you would definitely want a deputy getting there as soon as possible to assist.
    Wow-how quick the public is to attack law enforcement. I am
    so sorry for the innocent victims in this, including the deputy-
    who by the way was doing his job and also by the way protecting the public-including what one day may be some of you posting on this site-I'm sure if that was to happen and you were a victim of crime-your attitudes might change. Our law enforcement risks
    their lives everyday on their job protecting us, for little pay considering the jobs and danger they are exposed to. It would be nice to see some human compassion for these folks that serve us daily, instead of seeing them be attacked for trying to do their jobs. Hopefully none of you will ever need them-if so,
    maybe they will drive under the speed limit to get to you.

  • Common Sense Man Jan 4, 2008

    "I suspect part of it is also the adrenelin rush, but one way to counter that is to make it commonplace. They need to be able to think through the adrenelin."

    This deputy has been on the street long enough where I'm sure that wasn't an issue.

  • wcnc Jan 4, 2008

    mvnull- you're right that they should swap "Juvenile Sesitivity Training" & maybe even "Minority Sensitivity Training" for more driver's training. But I have a feeling, the uproar over what would be seen as the lack of desire to relate to juveniles and the accusations of racial insensitivity that would result will be enough to not switch one training for another, but to add drivers training on. There are many times, between a class, a training, a grand jury, and a court date, officers spend an entire shift NOT doing what they're expected to do- patrol, investigate, etc.

    I hope you don't think I'm criticizing your idea- it is a good idea. I like ideas better than those whomerely criticize but offer no solutions. Maybe one result of this accident will be that driver's training will be looked at more closely....

  • mvnull Jan 4, 2008

    wcnc, I saw about Deputy Byrd. I've already made a comment there.

    Scheduling is only a problem because we currently don't have the resources to offer that training. I'm not suggesting we can do this immediately, but it seems the need is there for better/more effective high speed training. Any one of the state's law enforcement officers can come up with a lot of so-called training that is worthless. Swap that out for this training and we might be saving a few lives per year. This would, of course, require committment and money, so I don't suppose we will ever see it.

  • mama2brianna Jan 4, 2008

    "Unfortunately, it sometimes takes an LEO death for people to NOT criticize what they do. This deptuy gets told how horrible he is (I don't agree- facts aren't in)....I'm saying people are hypocrites- those that criticize Locklear.....did they also criticize James?? Probably not- they only criticize the live cops...."

    I AGREE!

More...