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Trooper, women injured in Durham wreck

Posted November 27, 2011
Updated November 28, 2011

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— A state trooper going to help stop a fleeing DWI suspect ended up in a wreck in Durham late Saturday that sent him and two elderly women to the hospital, an agency spokesman said.

Sgt. Jeff Gordon said that Trooper David A. Haithcock lost control of his cruiser on the exit ramp from Interstate 85 to Duke Street around 11:48 p.m. The cruiser struck a ditch off the right side of the road, then collided with a Honda Accord in the intersection with Duke Street.

The Honda driver, Alice Mullis, and her passenger, Trisha Scott, remained hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries at Duke University Medical Center Sunday afternoon. Haithcock was treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital.

Gordon said the emergency lights and sirens on Haithcock's cruiser were activated as he approached the intersection.

The investigation into the crash hasn't been completed, and no charges have been filed.

Gordon said that Haithcock was going to help another trooper pursuing a driver who had fled after being questioned at a DWI checkpoint on the I-85 exit ramp to U.S. Highway 501 Business. The driver crashed into a ditch along Business 501 and was arrested.

Kevin Mitchell, 33, of Raleigh, was charged with driving while impaired, speeding to elude arrest, speeding, driving with a revoked license and failure to stop for blue lights and sirens.

He was placed in the Durham County jail under a $10,000 secured bond.

Mitchell was convicted of DWI in Wake County in August 2010, according to state Department of Correction records.

17 Comments

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  • fayncmike Nov 28, 2011

    "mike, he wasn't chasing the driver, he was responding via a radio call. however, they're no help "saving" us from a dwi suspect if they're actions are just as dangerous!
    abylelab"

    exactky! Radio and blowout strips are a lot safer and saner. We have too darn many cowboys driving police cars. They need to be in Honda Civics.

  • kynownc Nov 28, 2011

    This happens all too often. I know the officer wants to help his partners but, he/she has to understand that it's a crown vic or charger and not a porsche. These american sedans are not built to be driven at such high speeds. Yes, get there quick but, get there safe.

  • tgentry1005 Nov 28, 2011

    Your story does not make sense!

    I was at the intersection of Duke St and I85 at 11:25P on Sat and there was no roadblock and 20 minutes later all this happened. Someone has the story wrong. Roxboro Rd is Bus 501 so maybe your story and map are incorrect. Also I95 is about 50 miles away.

    It does sound like an elderly lady was not paying attention and did not yield to the trooper. Like too many others now days!

  • turkeydance Nov 28, 2011

    rr...elderly is defined by the IRS tax code as 59 1/2.

  • Scubagirl Nov 28, 2011

    Hope the NOT so elderly ladies recover quickly. I also appreciate all the LEOs do, but they have also got to start driving a bit more safely, especially in areas as populated as where this happened.

  • gingerlynn Nov 28, 2011

    it is I-85 and Duke street, about 3 miles from the 15-501 split

  • onefine69 Nov 28, 2011

    One day you may need the assistance of these brave men who put their lives on the line each day so we all can sleep better at night. This was an unfortunate accident in the line of duty and nothing else; a few more feet to the right and the troopers car would have hit the metal traffic pole instead of the switch box. We all are praying for the innocent ladies who got caught up in this and we are very proud of you nephew for what you do for us. God bless all!

  • bombayrunner Nov 28, 2011

    "This whole story stinks to high heaven. If the checkpoint was at I-95 and Bus 501 then why would the trooper be EXITING I-85 at Duke Street? This makes absolutely no sense. -seankelly15"

    Got to think outside the box ... he was flying through the air like chitty-chitty bang-bang.

  • Here2tellya Nov 28, 2011

    I-95 doesn't intersect with 501, it must be a typo. Way to edit guys.

  • seankelly15 Nov 28, 2011

    This whole story stinks to high heaven. If the checkpoint was at I-95 and Bus 501 then why would the trooper be EXITING I-85 at Duke Street? This makes absolutely no sense.

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