Local News

Driver charged after four teens injured in Clayton crash

Posted October 24, 2011 3:48 p.m. EDT
Updated October 27, 2011 6:49 a.m. EDT

— A 17-year-old driver was charged with driving while impaired in a Saturday night wreck in which he and three other teens were injured, authorities said Monday.

Brandon Scott Lee also was charged with violating his provisional driver's license, and authorities said other charges are pending.

Highway Patrol troopers said speed and alcohol were factors in the crash, which happened around 11 p.m. near the intersection of Amelia Church and Corbett roads.

The car left the road and left a path of debris that stretched across two yards. One piece of the car ended up on the roof of a mobile home.

"It was the worst wreck I've ever seen in person," said nearby resident Nicholas Findeisn, who was one of the first people on the scene. "You heard a lot of metal crunching ... You could hear a girl screaming, and that's when we ran over to where the scene was."

In addition to Lee, sisters Alicia McCarthy, 15, and Amira McCarthy, 14, and Stephen Andrew Pasquarella, 18, were injured. Authorities said Lee and Pasquarella remained hospitalized Monday at WakeMed, but their conditions were unknown.

Crashes involving teens are nothing new in Johnston County, which led the state with 11 fatal teen crashes in 2007. The county's public school system added new education and awareness programs. In 2009, the county saw seven teen fatalities. That dropped to three in 2010. So far this year, the county has had two, both in January.

"It's a peer-to-peer program, where students work with other students and create teen safe driving initiatives," said Lynda Carroll, the vice chairwoman of a county teen driver task force formed in 2008. "We believe that it is having an impact."

Carroll said excessive speed, not wearing seat belts and running off rural roads are the biggest problems. In addition to school programs, her group has lobbied the state to improve drivers education.