12/26/10 — Driver charged in fatal wreck

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Driver charged in fatal wreck

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 26, 2010 1:50 AM

The driver in a single-car accident that killed three people, including a Charles B. Aycock student, earlier this year, was arrested Thursday afternoon after toxicology reports confirmed he was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana at the time of the wreck.

Mark Aaron Pope, 17, was charged by a state Highway Patrol officer at the Wayne County Magistrate's Office with three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of felony death by motor vehicle.

Pope was also charged with several less severe charges including driving while impaired and careless and reckless driving.

The charges stem from the recently released toxicology reports that show Pope had a blood alcohol content level of .16, twice the legal limit for those 21 years old and older. The reports also show Pope had marijuana in his system.

Pope is currently being held at the Wayne County Detention Center. No bond was issued.

The accident occurred around 3:30 a.m. Oct. 10 near the intersection of N.C. 222 and Airport Road.

Traveling west, Pope allegedly lost control of the vehicle in a curve, sending it swerving across the center line several times before it left the road and struck a large ditch, according to Highway Patrol reports.

The car, a Honda Civic, is believed to have reached nearly 100 miles per hour and overturned several times before coming to a stop on its roof.

Pope -- the lone survivor -- was the only person in the car wearing a seat belt, according to the report.

Killed in the wreck were Josh Brantley, 25, Ashley Haskins, 18, and Jacob Floars, 17. Pope and Ms. Haskins were graduates of Charles B. Aycock High School. Floars was a student at the school.