Police: Man charged with DWI after Lenoir crash kills 92-year-old

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LENOIR, N.C. - A family in Lenoir is canceling their Thanksgiving after an accident killed a 92-year-old loved one and put another family member in the hospital.

Police have charged the driver of the van who hit them with DWI and felony death by motor vehicle.

Family members told Channel 9 Donald Roper was taking his father, Howard, to the dentist when the accident happened along Highway 321 in Lenoir.

They shared a photo of Roper, who lived across the street from his daughter and son-in-law.

The family had planned to gather for Thanksgiving, but those plans have been called off after police said the driver crossed the median and into the southbound traffic before slamming into Roper’s SUV, killing his elderly father.

The driver of the van, Jack White, is locked up under a $30,000 bail.

Police said they could smell alcohol on him. According to court documents, they believe he was impaired by alcohol.

Channel 9 spoke to family members who went to look at the SUV Wednesday morning.

“He was about the most caring person I ever met.  He loved life. He loved people. He loved little kids. Just a travesty, that’s all … Just doesn’t seem fair,” said son-in-law Jack Estep.

Police said they plan on reconstructing the deadly crash on Thanksgiving Day.  One factor in that decision is that officers believe traffic will be much lighter than on Wednesday.