Suspected drunken driver kills man along I-440, tries to flee

Posted January 1, 2011 7:49 a.m. EST
Updated January 3, 2011 12:49 p.m. EST

— Police said that a suspected drunken driver struck a broken-down car along Interstate 440 early Saturday, killing a 29-year-old Raleigh man.

Adolphus Markeith Cannady and Donsha Worsley were pushing Cannady's disabled Ford Explorer in the far right lane near the New Bern Avenue on-ramp around 4:30 a.m. They were struck by a Dodge Charger, driven by Michael Newkirk, as he was entering the highway. 

Cannady was killed, and Worsley was taken to a local hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries, police said. He was listed in good condition Sunday at WakeMed and was expected to be released soon.

According to court documents, Newkirk fled the scene on foot before submitting to blood-alcohol tests. He tested with a blood-alcohol level of 0.21, according to an arrest warrant. The legal limit for impaired driving in North Carolina is 0.08.

Police said Newkirk made an attempt to swerve and avoid crashing, but he was unsuccessful.

Two lanes of I-440 were shut down for about four hours after the wreck.

Newkirk, 44, was charged with felony death by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, felony hit and run, felony serious injury by vehicle and driving with a revoked license. He was given a $540,000 bond and scheduled to appear in court Monday.

Cannady's aunt, Toniette Cannady, said she wants Newkirk punished to the full extent of the law.

"He made a conscious choice to get behind the wheel while he was drunk," Toniette Cannady said Monday. "He could have let somebody else drive. He could have pulled on the side of the road because he knew the consequences of getting behind the wheel, being drunk."

Dakim Saunders Summers, 32, of 1510 Neuse Blvd. in New Bern, was also charged with aiding and abetting DWI, and aiding and abetting driving while license revoked. Police said that Summers owns the car Newkirk was driving and was a passenger at the time of the wreck.

He posted a $1,000 bond Saturday and is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 2.

Another passenger, Octavia Monique Davis, 33, was not charged in the incident.

Dayton Newkirk said that his brother is "very remorseful for what happened" and that he didn't mean to do it. He said relatives talked with Newkirk briefly and told him to "hold his head up and pray."

Newkirk lives with his fiancee and recently started a new job, his brother said.

He has a previous DWI conviction from 1993 and convictions for driving with a revoked license in 1993 and 2000, according to state Department of Correction records.