Local News

17-year-old charged in Cary Parkway culvert fire

Posted March 26, 2013
Updated March 27, 2013

Tristan Zammit

— Police said Tuesday that a 17-year-old has been arrested in connection with a fire last week that forced the closure of westbound Cary Parkway for several weeks.

Tristan Zammit, of Brownfield Drive in Cary, is charged with intentionally setting fire to grass, brush lands or woodlands.

Police said a tip led to Zammit's arrest and that he has admitted to starting the Thursday evening fire in a culvert under Cary Parkway.

"Our family deeply regrets this event and the impact it has had on our community," Zammit's family said in a statement. "We are fully cooperating with the Cary police. We are deeply saddened by this incident and will continue to cooperate with the authorities."

The Cary High School student made his initial court appearance on Wednesday, telling a judge that his family won't post his bond until after the school's spring break is over next week.

Tristan Zammit in court Teen charged in Cary culvert fire appears in court

Zammit also faces charges from an October incident at Cary High. Investigators say he tried to take something from a classroom after hours and then pushed a teacher in an attempt to get away.

The heat from last week's fire caused part of the culvert to collapse, forcing officials to close westbound lanes between Lake Pine Drive and Two Creeks Road for about three weeks as North Carolina Department of Transportation crews repair the damage.

About 100 feet of damaged pipe has to be removed, which requires tearing up the pavement, officials said.


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  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Apr 4, 2013

    "Probation and some form of restitution (wonder if his folks homeowner's insurance will pay?)"

    Insurance companies will cancel your coverage if you even ASK if something is covered so you can be sure that the parent's coverage would be cancelled and they'd never get insurance again, or at an exorbitant price. I can't imagine that this sort of thing would be covered but even if it was, why should the parents be penalized for their son's crime?

  • avidreader Apr 3, 2013

    This kid needs MAJOR help.

  • GravyPig Mar 28, 2013

    "Just heard Amanda Lamb's report about this on tonight's news. The kid is still in jail. His parents have chosen to not bond him out until after spring break which runs through next week. Good for them!"

    I love my folks, and they love me. If I had done something that stupid, then you can sure bet I would be sitting in jail over the break. I would be more worried about what would happen to me after I got out. Wouldn't have been a limb left on the switchin tree.

  • GravyPig Mar 28, 2013

    Now that is some tough love. Leaving him in jail while he waits for spring break to end. He won't forget this spring break any time soon.

  • NCSU84 Mar 28, 2013

    Agreed with the parents to leave him in jail for a while to see what it like. Maybe this will straighten him out? If not he will revisit jail/prison in the future.

  • jb100 Mar 28, 2013

    The only trouble i got into when I was 17 was having too many girlfriends. Alittle old to be starting fires?

  • dogluv3r Mar 28, 2013

    I am majorly impressed with the parents. This kid is headed down a path, and the parents are not defending him. They are doing the right thing, which is so very hard to do when you love someone.

  • LuvLivingInCary Mar 28, 2013

    good for the parent's who wants to teach him a lessson and leave him in jail...my dad always said don't call him if i got put in jail they he was leaving me there.

    it's called tough love and this world needs more of it...

  • medicine woman2 Mar 28, 2013

    Why bond out for school? Obviously, that wasn't important either.

  • Zillardd Mar 28, 2013

    I can understand why they closed the west bound lanes, but in the past whenever they worked on that road they simply made a temporary crossover and used one side for two-way travel. They put cones or barrels down the middle. I don't think it would take a civil engineer to get this done. It would only be about 100 yards or hey could split the entire segment of eastbound road.