Local News

Driver in Vance wreck that killed toddler expected to be charged

Posted July 22, 2012 10:14 p.m. EDT
Updated July 22, 2012 10:50 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina Highway Patrol officials were still working on Sunday to determine what charges will be filed in a Vance County head-on crash that killed an 18-month-old girl Friday night. 

Troopers said a 2007 Dodge Charger driven by Ira Evans crossed the center line of U.S. Highway 1 in Middleburg around 10:30 p.m. and struck a 1995 Mercedes Benz carrying Derrick Burchette and his daughter, Jaleah Griffin. 

Both vehicles ran off the road, and the Mercedes overturned, trapping the toddler in a car seat. 

Griffin died of her injuries at the hospital. Burchette, of Warrent, was treated for serious injuries at Duke University Hospital and released on Sunday. 

An eyewitness who helped Burchette following the wreck said he kept asking people to check on his daughter after he crawled out of the mangled Mercedes Benz. 

"This has been on my mind since Friday," the eyewitness, who did not give WRAL her name, said on Sunday. "I prayed when I went to church. I haven't been able to sleep since. I've had this baby on my mind the whole time."

Evans, of Henderson, underwent surgery at Duke Hospital, but an update on his condition was not available Sunday evening. Troopers said they planned to charge Evans, who they believe was drinking, once their investigation is complete.