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One killed in wrong-way wreck on Raleigh highway

Posted March 30, 2012

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— A man driving the wrong way down Interstate 440 East died early Friday when he hit another car head-on near the Six Forks Road exit, authorities said.

The wreck happened around 2:45 a.m. when a Volkswagen Jetta traveling westbound toward Glenwood Avenue hit a Dodge Nitro SUV underneath the Lassiter Mill Road bridge.

The driver of the Jetta died at the scene. His name was not released Friday.

David Christopher Howell, the driver of the Nitro, which was also carrying a 6-foot enclosed trailer, was taken to WakeMed Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, authorities said.

He was cited for driving while impaired, according to a wreck report.

Investigators aren't sure yet why the Jetta's driver was driving on the wrong side of the highway, and it's not clear if alcohol played a role in the wreck.

Raleigh police closed the two left lanes of eastbound I-440 for about four hours following the wreck to investigate.


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  • tngnjjb Apr 5, 2012

    I'd like to send my condolences to the family who lost a loved one. And then I would like to add that it is sheer ignorance and stupidity that caused this. I am not convinced that the driver of the jetta was driving the wrong way. It is Mr. Howell, driver of the nitro, that was 'driving while impaired'.... Not even a week before this accident I rode with David, and I made him pull over for fear of a head-on collision. He should not be allowed to operate a vehicle. This is outrageous to me, and it is deeply saddening what happened to this innocent man.

  • DukeFan23 Mar 30, 2012

    So the "victim" was drunk? Interesting.

  • eric416 Mar 30, 2012

    yes! @ greavelar1 , sorry for your lost too, god makes no mistake as everyone knows, and he takes the BEST, and perhaps he was one of the BEST, and god was maybe readyf or him to come to his heavely garden and make it more fruitful and abundant, adn my condolences goes out to his, his family, and the work of an lost co worker cause it could have been one of us, so wishing him the best and sleepy tight!

  • geavelar1 Mar 30, 2012

    Raleighmomof3... Sorry if I was not clear on my post. I work at a Leasing Office and the officer came in to try to see if I had a contact number of the decease's brother. I unfortunately was unable to get a hold of anyone.

  • Raleighmomof3 Mar 30, 2012

    So sorry about your coworker. Were you able to help them get in touch with his family?

  • cindylouwho Mar 30, 2012

    Harleysfather60---while NC does have contributory negligence law which means if you are 1% liable, you cannot recover, it does not work that way in actual practice. Many times, if the preponderance of negligence belongs to one person, that person would be found liable in court. In your scenario, you could sue but might not win.

  • rlee1117 Mar 30, 2012

    So which one was going the wrong way.Maybe the Nitro driver cause it states it hit a car meaning the Jetta. Jetta =car Nito = suv if I'm reading this right.

  • harleysfather60 Mar 30, 2012

    Maybe you dont understand 1% (for example even if u were going the correct direction but found to be speeding by 5 mph u cant sue for damages)

  • CicnyKid Mar 30, 2012

    "Maybe I'm being slow this morning, but does the article indicate which vehicle was going the wrong way on the Beltline?... the Jetta or the Nitro?"

    Looks like it's the Jetta driver was going the wrong way, as it said that was the person who died.

    From article:

    "A man driving the wrong way down Interstate 440 East died early Friday when he hit another car head-on . . . The driver of the Jetta died at the scene."

  • Scubagirl Mar 30, 2012

    Seems to me that at 245 in the morning it wouldn't be THAT difficult to go the wrong way, not much other traffic. Granted it would take ignoring/not seeing the signs but not much else I don't think.
    Condolences to all involved. sad the driver died but lets don't go calling him drunk without all the facts, which I'm sure will be posted in time.