Trevor Spencer Prough, 18 years old, was killed by a hit-and-run driver on northbound U.S. Highway 421 close to Peace Haven Road in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on Saturday, February 19, 2011. He was found at 3:15 a.m. that morning.
Kaitlin Smith Slater, age 24, of Kernersville, turned herself on March 4 in Forsyth County in connection with the wreck.
The circumstances of this accident fall into a pattern of hit-and-run wrecks that is repeated so many times that it is mind-numbing – a crash in the early morning (prime time for drunken driving), a revoked or suspended license, a record of driving while impaired and other serious traffic charges.
In this instance, according to reports by WFMY-TV, Slater was charged with aggravated felony death by vehicle, felony hit-and-run causing injury and driving with a revoked license.
Smith’s criminal record includes a DWI in 2008, in which she lost her driver’s license.
In 2005 Smith was convicted of driving without an license, possession of drugs, and a probation violation. In 2003, she was found guilty of possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Other violations on her record include speeding 87 mph in a 65 mph zone.
The Winston-Salem Journal also reported that court records say Slater is accused of trying to get help to get her vehicle towed after the accident, and trying to hide the car later.
Prough, who lived in Lewisville, had been walking back home after a going to Wal-mart, police said. He was the youngest of two sons.
Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O'Neil said in an interview with WFMY that in order to convict on an aggravated death by motor vehicle charge, prosecutors must prove the driver was intoxicated, unintentionally killed another person and had a driving while impaired conviction within the past seven years.
If found guilty on that charge, Slater could face up to six years in prison.
Smith was given a $125,000 bond and held in the Forsyth County Jail. Her next court appearance is scheduled for March 18.
As I said, hit-and-run accidents so often fall into a pattern. Panic is one of the first reasons a driver runs from a crash. But other factors can build on that panic and desire to flee. These are a few:
- A bad driving record.
- A suspended or revoked license.
- A criminal record.
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
- The driver knew that he or she was at fault and driving recklessly, or while distracted, or simply too fast.
If you have questions about legal issues in this article or in your own personal injury suffered in a wreck, call me directly for help – Lawrence Egerton, 336-273-0508, or 800-800-4LAW, or e-mail me at [email protected]. You can find more information about our firm, Egerton Law, at our website, http://www.egertonlaw.com/.
You will always talk to an attorney the first time you call.