Troopers: Drunk, texting driver hits two men changing tire
Posted November 14, 2013
Updated November 15, 2013
Wake County, N.C. — An inebriated driver was texting when he ran off the road Thursday night and hit two men who stopped along U.S. Highway 64 in eastern Wake County to change a flat tire, authorities said.
The injured pair – Sixto Manilla Gallegos and Alejandro Marcias, both 26 – were part of a four-person crew in a landscaping truck. They were heading east when they pulled over on the exit ramp for Lizard Lick Road at about 6 p.m. to change a tire on a trailer hauled by the truck, according to the North Carolina Highway Patrol.
Troopers said Tony Level Richardson, 47, was driving a Nissan pickup truck and texting when he hit the trailer from behind. He then struck both men, who were standing outside the landscaping truck. The two others on the crew were unhurt.
Richardson was charged with DWI, no seatblet, texting, having an expired tag and no inspection. The injured men were taken to WakeMed.
The accident was the second in 12 hours involving a texting driver.
Troopers said a Cary man traveling on Interstate 540 Thursday morning was texting when he lost control of his SUV and hit two cars, sending a woman to a hospital and snarling traffic for hours.
Highway Patrol spokesman 1st Sgt. Jeff Gordon said Aaron Artis, 26, of 12310 Residence Circle, was driving west in the far-left lane of I-540 near Aviation Parkway shortly before 9:30 a.m. when he looked down at his phone to read a text message, looked up and then swerved to avoid hitting a vehicle that had slowed down because of a traffic delay.
Artis side-swiped a Toyota Corolla, over-corrected and then drove into the median, hitting a Volkswagen Passat that was parked in the median because of a flat tire.
The Corolla's driver, Laura Labdon, of Raleigh, was taken to Duke University Hospital, where she was listed in serious condition Thursday evening.
Adriana Sepulveda, of Raleigh, who was standing outside the Passat was slightly injured. Her 6- and 10-year-old sons were not hurt.