Local News

Diabetic Attack May Have Led To Fatal Benson Accident

Posted July 4, 2006 6:57 a.m. EDT

— A diabetic episode may have caused a fatal accident that occurred on Interstate 40 in Johnston County on Monday, authorities said.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol received a series of calls on Monday afternoon about a possible drunken driver near mile marker 306 in Wake County.

"He ran completely off the right-hand side of the road into the dirt, spun out to the side, was sliding sideways for a little bit," said trooper Chris Bell, who spotted the vehicle -- a minivan driven by Ernest Brinson -- at mile marker 321.

Investigators said Brinson then somehow managed to recover and swerve back onto I-40.

"He went from all the way off on one side of the road, all the way off on the other, back into the roadway and almost hit another state trooper," Bell said.

Troopers followed Brinson for about two miles, reaching about 90 mph, before he ran off the road again and slammed into a guardrail near mile marker 324.

"He was not in his right mind at the time and may not even have been aware I was behind him during the chase," Bell said.

Bromspm was taken to WakeMed, where he was recovering on Tuesday. His son, John Brinson, 11, was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene, authorities said.

Authorities said they did not believe alcohol was involved in the accident and that Brinson did not know a Highway Patrol car was behind him.

It was not immediately clear whether any charges would be filed.

Family members said Brinson was returning home after a doctor's appointment in Durham when the accident happened.