Local News

Trucker out of hospital after wreck with Durham patrol car

Posted July 30, 2012 5:50 p.m. EDT
Updated July 31, 2012 11:49 a.m. EDT

— A truck driver who was released from the hospital Monday was charged in a crash last week that critically injured a Durham police officer.

Charles Edward Caldwell, 44, of Roberta, Ga., is charged with felony serious injury by vehicle. He was being held in the Durham County jail under a $500,000 bond.

Officer Teresa Gilliam had stopped a 2010 Mazda 3 Wednesday afternoon on the right shoulder of Interstate 85 just past the exit ramp for Cole Mill Road, police said. A tractor-trailer hit Gilliam's unmarked car from behind, forcing it into the Mazda.

Gilliam, a 15-year veteran of the Durham police force, remains in critical condition at Duke University Hospital.

Caldwell wasn't injured in the crash, but he complained of a health condition during police questioning and was admitted to Duke Hospital.

A citation notes that Caldwell's truck was traveling 70 mph, which is 10 mph faster than the speed limit on that stretch of I-85, and was swerving between lanes. It also notes that Gilliam had activated the blue lights on her car but that Caldwell failed to move out of the right lane, as required by state law when passing a stopped law enforcement vehicle.

Officers noted that Caldwell's eyes were droopy and his speech slurred, and police took a sample of his blood to test for alcohol or drugs.