RALEIGH, N.C. — A Durham man faces multiple charges in connection with a drunken-driving accident that sent a Wake County sheriff's deputy's personal vehicle off the highway into a tree.
The accident happened Thursday shortly before 7 a.m. on Interstate 40 near Aviation Parkway when a truck driven by William Woodrow Griffin hit Deputy Paul Quinn from behind and then left the scene.
"He was like a pinball in a machine," said Jerry Dockery, an off-duty truck driver from Raleigh, who said he saw Griffin's truck. "He was bouncing off trees as he was plowing down through there."
Griffin, whose blood alcohol concentration was 0.13 more than two hours after the collision, is charged with driving while impaired, hit-and-run and driving with a revoked license. He was in the Wake County Jail Thursday afternoon under a $5,000 secured bond.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol said Dockery was one of two witnesses who followed Griffin and got him to pull over.
"My heart went out for the guy who was pushed off the road," Dockery said.
His intent was to get the truck's license plate number, but Dockery said Griffin pulled over when he saw him flashing his lights.
Dockery said he was very concerned that the driver made no attempt to stop until two miles after the crash.
"The driver of the pickup truck – he never even slowed down," Dockery said. "It was senseless to me, especially after hitting someone, knocking them off the road into the embankment and continuing as if it never happened."
According to arrest records, Griffin had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage, red glassy eyes and slurred speech.
Court records show Griffin, 36, of 107 Muscadine Lane, has been convicted 14 times of driving with a revoked license and 17 times of failing to appear in court.
Quinn was treated for minor injuries at WakeMed Cary and released.
Authorities said both Griffin and Quinn were on their way to work at the time of the accident.