911 operator sent alert to Raleigh officers ahead of fatal Wake Forest crash
Posted March 28, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — Raleigh police officers only had one opportunity to hear about a truck driving erratically on Interstate 40 Tuesday afternoon, hours before it was involved in a deadly crash on Capital Boulevard.
In two "be on the lookout" recordings released to WRAL News Monday, 911 operators can be heard advising officers to keep an eye out for a truck driving reckless on the highway.
"All units be on the lookout. 40 eastbound, near Gorman, 40 eastbound near Gorman. Reference a green work truck driving C and R (careless and reckless)," the operator said at 1:47 p.m.
Operators also sent out a second BOLO at 1:52 p.m. to a second set of officers.
"Raleigh attention all units, 40 eastbound past exit 300 be on the lookout for a lime green big dump truck with logs in the back and a bobcat," the message said.
Investigators say Donald Wayne Caulder, 29, of Laurinburg, was driving northbound on Capital Boulevard in a lime green dump truck hauling logs and towing a Bobcat at about 4:15 p.m. when he rear-ended a 2004 Toyota Sienna.
The dump truck pushed the Sienna into the back of a tractor-trailer, and the minivan was crushed between the two trucks. The driver of the Sienna, Michelle Simone Barlow, 42, an English teacher at Wake Forest High School, was killed in the crash.
Three hours before that crash, a man following a log-laden dump truck towing a Bobcat called 911 to report the truck was swerving from lane to lane on eastbound I-40 near N.C. Highway 54 in Cary.
"He has run off the road probably a dozen times in the last 3 miles. You got to get somebody over here before he hits somebody. He's running people off the road," the caller said. "I don't know if he's drunk or falling asleep, but he's not holding the wheel."
The State Highway Patrol confirmed Friday that the license number of the truck the caller reported to 911 matches the tag number of the truck involved in the Wake Forest crash.
The 911 caller, who asked not to be identified, told WRAL News in an exclusive interview Friday that he followed the truck for about 20 miles, from Davis Drive in Research Triangle Park to the I-40 split with Interstate 440 near Garner, but was unable to get law enforcement to pull the truck over.
Later in the call, the man can be heard attempting to flag down an officer.
"I'm telling the Highway Patrol I need him over," the man said. "I need him to pull over, but he won't pull over."
The 911 operator told the man troopers do not pull over for "a lot of people like that."
Once the investigation is complete, Caulder could face criminal charges for his role in Barlow’s death. The 911 calls are now a part of the investigation, according to the highway patrol.
Caulder has been convicted of driving without a license, but seven other driving-related violations against him since 2008 were dismissed, according to court records. He also has two pending drug charges in Moore County.