Local News

Woman Killed While Mowing Lawn

Posted March 29, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— A Person County woman was killed in her own front yard on Shiloh Church Road, after being run down by an allegedly drunk driver.

Authorities say 81-year-old Louise Bailey died instantly Thursday evening. She had been cutting her grass on a riding mower.

Trooper John Tribble said a car, traveling west at 55 miles per hour, ran off the road and hit Bailey.

The Highway Patrol charged 33-year-old Karl K. Pettiford of Semora with felony vehicular manslaughter, driving with an open container and DWI.

The trooper said Pettiford had slurred speech, a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, was unsteady on his feet and had trouble producing his license.

Tribble said he found an open beer bottle in Pettiford's car. Pettiford's blood-alcohol level reportedly registered 0.27 -- more than three times the legal limit of 0.08.

Pettiford said he had had three beers, and had just left his father's house where he had been playing basketball.

Tribble also said Pettiford did not stop after the collision. Instead, his car became inoperable about two blocks from the accident scene, and he then walked back to the Bailey property. Pettiford might also face a charge of leaving the scene of an accident.

Pettiford was released Friday from Person County jail after posting a $20,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court May 1.

Tribble said Pettiford had not previously been charged with DWI and has a relatively clean driving record.