Local News

Broughton High Student Critically Injured, Two...

Posted September 25, 1996 12:00 a.m. EDT

— A 15-year-old Broughton High School student who was hit Wednesday morning by a driver charged with drunken-driving is listed in critical condition with serious head and internal injuries.

Raleigh police said a car driven by William Bradford Rice III struck student Frank Nicholson, his sister, Laura Beth Nicholson, and one other student, Blake Schlukbier, as the three walked to school just before 8 a.m. They were on the sidewalk near the intersection of Park Drive and Peace Street when an out-of-control vehicle jumped the curb and plowed into them.

Laura Beth was treated at Wake Medical Center and released. Schlukbier was brushed by the car and knocked to the ground, but he was treated at the scene.

Melissa Vanderveer (pictured below, right), a Broughton student who witnessed the accident, said it was like she saw the accident in slow-motion.

Rice was charged Wednesday with driving while intoxicated, possessing a fictitious vehicle registration and not having liability insurance. Rice is being held in the Wake County jail under $25,000 secured bond.

Investigators said Rice refused to take a breath test. Blood tests were conducted and police are waiting for results. They say eyewitness testimony, such as that from Vanderveer, in addition to other evidence led to the DWI charge.

Police say there was no other apparent reason for Rice's car to leave the road.

According to Rice's driving record, obtained from the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, he has been charged four times with DWI. He was convicted once of DWI, in 1989, in Lenoir County. One DWI charge was dismissed, and two others resulted in reckless driving convictions.

Judy Wallace, with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, says it is a shame people can't feel their children are safe from drunk drivers early in the morning.