Local News

911 operator sent alert to Raleigh officers ahead of fatal Wake Forest crash

Posted March 28, 2016

— 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.


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  • John Malcholm Apr 4, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Someone needs to read up a bit on sting operations.

  • Curtis Denton Mar 29, 2016
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    To bad for this lady ....ive had it happen to me a few times even tried to flag coppers down they jyst ignored me....even sped up so I couldn't get to them ....these people are right shame on them I don't care what they are doin AND MR.GAULT HERE'S A PRO TIP FOR U
    U must be LE to make these excuses and Trisha and Betsy are correct in what they are saying....thats a pro tip....lmmfao

  • Russ Bullock Mar 29, 2016
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    I'm not sure we want law enforcement officers to be required to respond to every single request from the general public. But there could be a need for some sort of "civil road patrol" patterned after the civil air patrol that we have now.

  • Marcia Maloney Mar 29, 2016
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    I think I heard on the news where the 911 caller was flagging an officer in a funeral procession and the officer ignored him - I would have responded and let the funeral go- Its disturbing to find out all this info after the fact. Her life could have been saved if someone wouldn't have ignored the attempts from the 911 caller - Shame on all of them.

  • Trisha Davis Mar 29, 2016
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    I followed a drunk driver home to Sanford one night all the way from Capitol Blvd. in Raleigh. I blocked traffic behind me so no one would try to get by this guy, he was swerving from the right side of the road to the left guardrail the entire way. Finally, another car realized what I was doing and pulled up next to me to keep cars behind us. At some point in Chatham county this car realized he was being followed and tried to lose us. I finally had to back off, he was doing over 100 mph, the other car stayed with him. I called cops in three counties before the highway patrol intervened in Lee county. A 45 mile trip and not one cop's intervention after numerous 911 calls...unacceptable! They're certainly there when you don't need them...going 1 mile over the speed limit!!!!!

  • Johnathan Gault Mar 29, 2016
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    The previous posts remind me of the medieval peasants showing up with torches and pitchforks and demanding a public execution. Here is a PRO TIP, you do not have more expoeruience than LE. If they could not find a reason to charge him as it would not hold up in court, you are just going to have to put those pitchforks back in the haystack and extinguish the torches. Believe me, the Wake County DA is exceptionally vindictive as it is, if there was a way to put him under the jail they would have.

    Further, realize too, the investigation is not complete. With media involvement, calling for 50 pounds of flesh, there will be charges. You will have ample time to light those torches and get your pitchforks,

    What is amazing to me is the number of people who do not realize the Police doe not prevent crime, they react to crime. THEY DO NOT PROTECT YOU! Your protection is your responsibility.

  • Betsy Smith Mar 28, 2016
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    No charges? I thought the person in the rear was always at fault. Considering there's proof he was driving C&R hours before this accident, there should certainly be some charges now as well as pulling cell phone records. If they didn't do a breathalyzer at the scene, I have to wonder what HP does these days other than riding up and down the road handing out speeding tickets.