Many Charlotte residents are familiar with Brunswick County. The popular vacation destination is about a four-hour drive southeast of us.
A former Wilmington police officer was in a horrific four-vehicle drunk driving crash there. Three people died in the wreck, including the former officer’s wife and two others.
The suspect was arrested at a nearby Myrtle Beach hospital after the wreck. The extent of his injuries was not reported in the news article about the violent accident.
According to a North Carolina State Highway Patrol spokesperson, the crash was on U.S. Highway 17, a few miles north of the South Carolina border. The former police lieutenant and his wife were driving north on the highway.
An elderly married couple in a van was waiting to make a turn in the highway’s median. As they waited, a pick-up truck driven by the 31-year-old drunk driving suspect slammed into the back of their van, pushing it into oncoming traffic where it was struck by the vehicle driven by the former officer.
The van was also struck by a car following the former officer’s vehicle.
The former officer’s wife was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center while the five others in the crash were taken to a Myrtle Beach hospital.
The married couple (both 82 years old) died of their injuries, as did the former officer’s wife.
There is no way to fully understand the anguish their loved ones feel today. We hope the families find ways to heal. We hope, too, that this tragedy will help to people to understand the grave risks they are taking by drinking and driving.