Local News

Driving Without Valid License A Common Problem, Troopers Say

Posted November 23, 2005 9:27 a.m. EST

— A Wayne County man who authorities said hit two middle school students has a history of driving without a license, leaving investigators trying to determine whether he ever had a valid driver's license.

Police said Carson Thomas and Mackinzie Wessels, both 13, were hit last Friday as they walked across a road next to Greenwood Middle School before classes. Investigators said the two were crossing with the "walk" signal from the crosswalk sign when Luis Delgado Jesus allegedly ran a red light and hit them.

Jesus, 23, was charged with careless and reckless driving, failing to stop at a red light and driving with expired tags. Police also charged him with driving with a revoked license.

Court records show Jesus was convicted of driving without a license in 2003. He paid a find and received six months probation.

Then, in September, records show Jesus got another ticket for driving without a license. He was supposed to be in court three days before the accident, but investigators said he never appeared.

State troopers say motorists driving without a license is a serious and common problem.

"It's a daily occurrence," said 1st Sgt. T.C. McLeod with the Highway Patrol. "It's nothing to stop 10 or 15 (motorists without licenses) a day, sometimes."

McLeod said just this year, in Wayne County, troopers charged nearly 900 people with driving without a license and about 540 drivers for driving with a revoked license.

Wayne County's district attorney says that because Jesus has only been convicted once, he faces a maximum sentence of less than three months in jail for last week's accident.

A hospital spokesman said Wessels was released from Pitt Memorial Hospital Tuesday; Thomas is still there, listed in critical condition.

Investigators and the district attorney are still trying to determine if Jesus will face more charges.