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Woman charged in fatal I-540 wreck

Posted April 19, 2011

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— One of the drivers involved in a fatal four-vehicle wreck on Interstate 540 two weeks ago faces a criminal charge, police said Tuesday.

A 1999 Toyota driven by Pamela Michelle Hoyles, 44, of Raleigh, and a 2002 Ford driven by Sharon Garrett McKinnon, 45, of Oxford, bumped on eastbound I-540 between U.S. Highway 70 and Leesville Road on April 5, police said.

The contact sent the Toyota off the right shoulder of the highway and sent the Ford across the highway median into the westbound lanes, police said. The Ford was then hit by two vehicles, killing McKinnon.

Police charged Hoyles with misdemeanor death by vehicle.


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  • livinglife Apr 20, 2011

    rescuefan--I meant to say on highways over 3 lanes so highways such as 540 don't apply to the keep right rule.

  • two2294 Apr 20, 2011

    You don't have to be drunk to cause an accident, apparently she was not paying attention to her driving and that caused a mom and a dad to have to bury their child, a child to bury their mom way too early!! People just pay attention to your driving, stay off the cell phones, it can wait, if it can't then pull over and for goodness sake SLOW DOWN!!! whatever you are going after will still be there when you get there!!

  • cybergump Apr 20, 2011

    Doesn't matter. She made a mistake. Her actions set the accident in motion that resulted in a death. It's a misdemeanor charge, not the death penalty. And the results of a different case has nothing to do with how this case she be adjudicated. She made a mistake. She was charged with a misdemeanor because it was an accident!!! Someone was responsible for the death of someone else and has to be held responsible regardless. Period.

  • unaffiliated_voter Apr 19, 2011

    RB-004isme: "Was she drunk or under the influence of something? If not, wasn't it just an "accident"?"

    I was wondering exactly the same thing. I've never seen anything to indicate she was doing something obviously dangerous. But many on here seem to believe that any mistake should be severely punished. I'm sure all of them have perfect driving records and have never made any driving mistakes at all and just gotten lucky that nothing serious happened as a result.

    Obviously this was a serious accident and innocent people suffered severely as a result of it, but sometimes accidents are just accidents.

    If she was drunk or driving recklessly weaving in and out of lanes or something like that, then I'd say charges should be filed and she should be punished, but if she simply made a driving mistake then I don't see anything criminal there. She's going to suffer from increased insurance rates and, if she's a decent person, from the psychological distress of knowing what she caused.

  • 007KnightRider Apr 19, 2011

    livinglife - I agree. Also, keep in mind in NC slow right lane drivers will jump in the left lane to pass then drive even slower when they should pass and jump back to the right. In other words get out the way...

  • OpenM1nd Apr 19, 2011

    "Police charged Hoyles with misdemeanor death by vehicle."

    WRAL, did the police report by chance indicate if it was it due to operator error or substandard equipment (i.e. poor tires or brakes)?

    Regardless, people need to slow down on wet roads and leave a longer following (braking) distance. Driving with bald or low-tread tires -- especially in wet conditions -- is just asking for trouble. And oh, yes, driving with your lights on in the rain during the day is not so much that you can see where you are going but rather so that the rest of us can see you. Besides, it's the law.

  • rescuefan Apr 19, 2011

    "The "slower traffic keep right" doesn't apply to major highways such as 540, unfortunately, as I have argued that point myself.


    Actually, it only applies on the major highways (or is supposed to apply for those that actually follow it). That's why you see signs saying that on 40/85.

    I am sure that this woman feels horrible and will have to live with this for the rest of her life. I wish this would teach a lesson to all the other reckless drivers out there, but unfortunately, I don't think it will.

  • walkerji54 Apr 19, 2011

    Ok let see how justice works now. The man that was drunk and killed a women got a slept on the hand a couple of weeks ago because he had money. Let see if this lady get the electic chair, she shouldn't but lets see.

  • canes7 Apr 19, 2011

    Just remember, the driver that's being an idgit thinks he is more important that you or anyone else.

    Once you realize that even the nicest people can turn into the more selfish child-like maroons when the drive the better off you'll be.

  • livinglife Apr 19, 2011

    RB-004isme--I was referring to NC, I don't know other states. I, for one, am with piknowles4 with the highway etiquette. I always keep right unless passing. I have learned on 540 that the right lane is the new left lane when it comes to passing, which is kind of sad, and somewhat aggravating.