Local News

Warrant: Wrong-way I-440 driver tried to flee after being stopped

Posted June 15, 2012
Updated January 11, 2013

— A Wake Forest woman accused of driving drunk and in the wrong direction on a major highway, causing a man to die, led police on a pursuit for five miles before a state trooper finally stopped her, according to a search warrant released in the case.

Raleigh police say Sarah Aimee Carden, 23, was driving eastbound on Interstate 440 West, near Hillsborough Street, shortly before 4:30 a.m. Sunday when Junior Tshimpangila Bajani, trying to avoid a collision with her, crashed into a guardrail.

The 30-year-old was killed, and a passenger in his Chevrolet Aveo was injured.

According to the warrant, for Carden's cellphone, police and the state Highway Patrol pulled in front of Carden's 2007 Acura TSX twice – once at I-440 and Glenwood Avenue and again on I-440 between Six Forks and Wake Forest roads – before they were finally able to get her to stop.

Even then, according to the warrant, Carden tried to drive away, prompting a state trooper to break the driver's side window to keep her from doing so. Her blood alcohol concentration was 0.16, and she appeared disoriented, the warrant says.

Carden faces charges of felony hit-and-run resulting in death, felony serious injury by vehicle, felony fleeing to elude arrest, careless and reckless driving, driving while impaired and traveling the wrong way on a dual-lane highway.

She was jailed under a $152,500 bond.

Bajani was a student at Wake Technical Community College and had moved to North Carolina from Africa three years ago, his brother, Jethro Bajani, said.

He was coming home from a wedding when the wreck occurred.


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  • ehart Jun 18, 2012

    passport423 you and I are thinking the same thing. Unlike her Hollywood look alike, she needs to learn the consequences of her actions.

  • nzingasukidi Jun 18, 2012

    Dear All,

    Here is the schedule in loving memory of Tshipangila Bajani Junior
    Friday 22nd from 6:00PM to 8:00PM ==> Viewing at Benson Memorial Methodist Church, 4706 Creedmoor Rd, Raleigh, NC 27612

    Saturday 23rd from:8:00AM to 9:30AM ==>Viewing at Benson Memorial Methodist Church, 4706 Creedmoor Rd, Raleigh, NC 27612

    9:30AM to 12:00PM

    12:00PM ==>Burial at Mount Hope Cemetery 120 Prospect Ave Raleigh, NC 27603

    Thank you.

    For the Bajani's Family Nzinga Sukidi 919-649-2950

  • Sumo Vita Jun 18, 2012

    I'd like to know how she came to be in the possession of an '07 Acura TSX at age 23. Short of being a lottery winner, that points to her either being spoiled by doting parents or having wildly out of control finances.

  • carolinaflyboy72 Jun 18, 2012

    Instead of this girl, what if the offender had been a middle-aged, overweight, balding, alcoholic man who was behind the wheel. Would you still be saying, "oh he was scared, that's all. I wish I could help that poor man"?? Or what if the roles had been reversed and the man who was killed was actually driving the wrong way drunk and killed this young woman and then tried to flee? Would your comments be the same then, too?

  • jmf1073 4.0 Jun 15, 2012

    How would you feel if you were in prison?

  • Diamond2010 Jun 15, 2012

    WOW...she's scared and needs comforting during this difficult time...how the family who lost their love one due to her careless actions who need someone to comfort them??

    She's scared and needs comforting during this difficult time.
    jmf1073 4.0

  • jmf1073 4.0 Jun 15, 2012

    She's scared and needs comforting during this difficult time.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 15, 2012

    jmf1073 - "I wish I could help her out."

    Help her with what? With trying to replace the life of the man whose life she took?

  • samr Jun 15, 2012

    I wish I could help her out.

    jmf1073 4.0

    How about helping his family out? She is obviously a troubled young woman but your sympathy is very misplaced.

  • quikdraw2 Jun 15, 2012

    My hope is that she does get some prison time. I do not think that there is any other way to pay back a little piece of what she has done.