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Woman pleads guilty to crash that injured DOT workers on I-440

Posted December 15, 2016

— A woman who hit and injured two state highway workers on Interstate 440 in Raleigh in April pleaded guilty Thursday and was sentenced to at least 14 months in prison.

Angela Roland Bethea showed remorse in the courtroom when addressing Darrick Bridges and Kelly Lewis, who were on the shoulder of I-440 at the Capital Boulevard exit when Roland's car slammed into the back of their truck.

Bridges was pinned between the two vehicles and had to have both legs amputated, authorities said, while Lewis was thrown over a guardrail.

Investigators said Bethea was under the influence of multiple substances at the time.

"Tests do indicate a positive reading for cocaine as well as opiates," Prosecutor Jason Waller said.

Bridges' mother addressed Bethea in court.

"Our lives have been changed forever, as well as Derrick's from this tragedy that occurred on April 19," said Mary Hinton. "I stand here today grateful that my son is still alive."

Hinton said her family does not hate or want revenge, but Bethea made an emotional apology to both families.

"I'm humiliated, depressed, despised about my actions. If I could turn it back around I would do so in a minute," Bethea said.

Bethea's attorney, Taylor Pokrass, said she cares for her disabled mother and son, and that she be allowed to stay home on house arrest. The judge rejected the request.

Pakrass said Bethea also became addicted to cocaine after her father's recent death, but that she has sought treatment and is now sober. She said she hopes to live a better life.


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