Driver in fatal accident tests for alcohol
By Gary Popp and Catharin Shepard
Published in News on December 17, 2010 1:46 PM
The 20-year-old driver in an accident that killed four in Dudley on Sept. 18 was under the influence of alcohol, toxicology reports show.
Jeremy Elijah Bryant Pate, of Dudley, had a blood alcohol content level of .14, nearly two times the legal limit for adults 21 and older, according to the report.
Officials said Pate was speeding and attempting to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone on U.S. 117 South Alternate when he lost control of his vehicle and collided with a truck driven by Gordon Lane, 41, of Mount Olive.
Pate and Lane, as well as the two passengers in Pate's vehicle, were killed.
The passengers, Joseph Lee Carter, 22, and Jerrod Roddick McKiver, 20, both of Dudley, also tested positive for alcohol.
State Highway Patrol 1st Sgt. Gerald Burton estimated that Pate's vehicle was traveling south between 70 and 75 miles per hour when it collided with Lane's truck, which was traveling north.
The posted speed limit on the highway in front of the Tri-County Electric office at 4255 U.S. 117 South Alternate, where the two vehicles collided, is 45 miles per hour.
Officials said Pate, Carter and McKiver died upon impact, while Lane was transported to Wayne Memorial Hospital where he died of his injuries.
Before his death, Pate had been scheduled to appear in court Nov. 15 on an unsafe moving violation from earlier this year, which is typically "some type of yield violation" or another kind of safe driving violation, State Highway Patrol Sgt. C.J. Owens said.