12/17/06 — Still no decision on charges in fatal hit and run

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Still no decision on charges in fatal hit and run

By Lee Williams
Published in News on December 17, 2006 2:00 AM

Whether a LaGrange woman suspected in the fatal hit-and-run accident that killed 47-year-old Andy Melvin Anderson of Goldsboro will be charged remains a mystery.

Carol Coletrain Lane, 72, of Beston Road, is a suspect in the accident, which occurred about 5:55 p.m. Nov. 7. Anderson was struck and killed as he crossed the median on U.S. 70 East near Long's Plant Farm Road. His body was spotted nearly 14 hours later.

Ms. Lane's vehicle, which allegedly was involved in the fatality, was found Nov. 9 in the parking lot of Madison's Prime Rib restaurant by a Wayne County sheriff's deputy. Ms. Lane's damaged white 1992 Buick LeSabre was seized and combed for evidence.

N.C. Highway Patrol State Trooper Sgt. B.W. Overton forwarded an initial report of his findings to Wayne County District Attorney Branny Vickory, who will decide whether to levy charges in the case.

Overton added he is still waiting on an autopsy report, a toxicology report and a North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation analysis of the evidence collected.

"That's the last piece that we need that I'm aware of," Overton said. "Something else might turn up."

Overton said the Highway Patrol does not make any recommendations to the DA's office on whether a suspect in a fatal accident case should be charged. He said that decision is up to the district attorney.

"Basically, what we deal with are the facts involved in the case," Overton said. "We submit the report and if they want input, we'll give it. We only give our opinion if we are asked."

Overton added fatality accidents are always difficult cases to investigate.

"Any time you have a case involving death, it's tough," Overton said. "It's tough on the family, everybody involved and the investigators. We're people, too."

Vickory confirmed that he received the report, but added that it was incomplete. He added he would need to review the full report before he can begin weighing the issue.

Meanwhile, Ms. Lane waits for word.

Ms. Lane said in an earlier interview she was surprised to learn she was a suspect. She admitted she hit something that day, but she thought it was a sign -- not a man. Had she known, she would have stopped and called for help, she said.