02/19/07 — Man dies after car pins him

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Man dies after car pins him

By Lee Williams
Published in News on February 19, 2007 1:49 PM

PRINCETON -- A game between friends at an apartment on Barden Street took a deadly turn Sunday when a man accidentally pinned a Wayne County man against the residence with a car.

The victim, James Richard Howell Jr., 27, of Talton Road, Princeton, was horseplaying with his friend, James Larry Holder, 29, of Barden Street in Princeton, about 9:30 a.m. when he was fatally injured, Princeton police Chief Ed Lewis said.

"He was sitting outside the apartment," Lewis said. "He squatted down and a friend, James Larry Holder, pulled up in front of the victim. They exchanged waves. Holder had his foot on the gas and brake both horsing around. His foot slipped off the brake and pinned him against the apartment."

Realizing what he had done, Holder put the 1994 Ford Taurus he was driving in reverse and backed away from the injured Howell.

Princeton police and Johnston County Emergency Medical Services were dispatched to the incident. EMS transported Howell to Johnston Memorial Hospital in Smithfield.

The Wayne County man was transported by air ambulance to Duke Hospital in Raleigh. But Howell's injuries later proved fatal, Lewis said.

"He succumbed to his injuries between 1:30 and 1:40 p.m.," Lewis said.

The police chief called the incident tragic.

Lewis said Holder was deeply distraught over what happened to his friend.

"It doesn't matter what the gentleman did, he has to deal with this for the rest of his life," Lewis said.

Lewis added while the incident was an accident, Lewis said Holder could face a possible misdemeanor death by motor vehicle charge.

"This was a preventable accident and someone is dead," said Lewis, explaining why he would have to pursue charges in the case.

"I don't feel there was any intent to do any harm, but he was horseplaying and now both families will have to deal with the consequences," he said.