Local News

Warrant: Wrong-way I-440 driver tried to flee after being stopped

Posted June 15, 2012 12:45 p.m. EDT
Updated January 11, 2013 12:05 p.m. EST

— A Wake Forest woman accused of driving drunk and in the wrong direction on a major highway, causing a man to die, led police on a pursuit for five miles before a state trooper finally stopped her, according to a search warrant released in the case.

Raleigh police say Sarah Aimee Carden, 23, was driving eastbound on Interstate 440 West, near Hillsborough Street, shortly before 4:30 a.m. Sunday when Junior Tshimpangila Bajani, trying to avoid a collision with her, crashed into a guardrail.

The 30-year-old was killed, and a passenger in his Chevrolet Aveo was injured.

According to the warrant, for Carden's cellphone, police and the state Highway Patrol pulled in front of Carden's 2007 Acura TSX twice – once at I-440 and Glenwood Avenue and again on I-440 between Six Forks and Wake Forest roads – before they were finally able to get her to stop.

Even then, according to the warrant, Carden tried to drive away, prompting a state trooper to break the driver's side window to keep her from doing so. Her blood alcohol concentration was 0.16, and she appeared disoriented, the warrant says.

Carden faces charges of felony hit-and-run resulting in death, felony serious injury by vehicle, felony fleeing to elude arrest, careless and reckless driving, driving while impaired and traveling the wrong way on a dual-lane highway.

She was jailed under a $152,500 bond.

Bajani was a student at Wake Technical Community College and had moved to North Carolina from Africa three years ago, his brother, Jethro Bajani, said.

He was coming home from a wedding when the wreck occurred.