Local News

Twelve face alcohol charges in fatal Johnston crash

Posted February 28, 2013 10:52 a.m. EST
Updated February 28, 2013 7:46 p.m. EST

— A dozen people face alcohol-related charges in a fatal wreck two weeks ago that killed a Johnston County teen, authorities said Thursday.

William Lee Tippett, 18, of Garner, was thrown from a Ford Ranger pickup in which he was riding in a Feb. 16 crash on westbound Josephine Road, south of Clayton.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol said driver Bryan Davis Gilmore, 17, of Smithfield, was going approximately 85 mph in a 45-mph zone when he lost control of the truck on a curve and went off the road, flipping the vehicle several times.

Gilmore and another passenger, Joseph Cole Brewer were taken to WakeMed in Raleigh and were later released.

Tippett, a senior at Cleveland High School, wasn't wearing a seat belt, authorities said.

Investigators said Carl Jerome Watson, 21, of Clayton, legally purchased three 18-packs of beer at a convenience store and then took it to Brewer's home. Brewer allegedly paid for some of it and gave it to underage friends at a party, authorities said.

Watson faces 16 counts of aid and abet underage persons in purchasing and possessing more than 60 malt beverages.

Brewer, 16, of Clayton, faces 11 counts of aid and abet underage persons in possessing malt beverages, underage possession of a malt beverage, underage purchase of a malt beverage and possession of one-half ounce or less of marijuana.

The Highway Patrol charged Gilmore with felony death by motor vehicle, driving while impaired and reckless driving. The state Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement also charged him with underage possession of a malt beverage and possession of one-half ounce or less of marijuana.

“This senseless death is an unfortunate reminder of the extremely serious problems associated with underage drinking, driving while impaired and providing alcoholic beverages to minors,” state Department of Public Safety Secretary Kieran Shanahan said in a statement.

ALE agents also charged the following people:

  • Jordan James Sansoucie, 16, of Clayton, underage possession of a malt beverage and possession of one-half ounce or less of marijuana.
  • Matthew Edward Blehm, 17, of Clayton, underage possession of a malt beverage, underage purchase of a malt beverage and possession of one-half ounce or less of marijuana.
  • Cameron Jerome Grantham, 17, of Raleigh, underage possession of a malt beverage, underage purchase of a malt beverage and possession of one-half ounce or less of marijuana.
  • Raykwon Shaheed Cooley, 16, of Clayton, underage possession of a malt beverage.
  • Nathan Alexander Causby, 17, of Clayton, underage possession of a malt beverage.
  • Jermaine Lamont Johnson, 17, of Clayton, underage possession of a malt beverage.
  • William Dontre Joyner, 18, of Clayton, underage possession of a malt beverage and possession of one-half ounce or less of marijuana.
  • Emir Gutierrezfiallos, 18, of Smithfield, underage possession of a malt beverage, underage purchase of a malt beverage and driving a motor vehicle without a license.
  • Austin Drake Knight, 17, of Clayton, underage possession of a malt beverage.