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Posted: 11:19 a.m. Friday, April 20, 2012
By Kathryn Burcham
UNION COUNTY, N.C. —
State troopers say a Union County man was driving nearly 100 mph when he lost control and crashed, killing his passenger.
Investigators said 23-year-old Fernando Arce was behind the wheel of a Dodge Charger when he ran off Austin Chaney Road just after 3 a.m. Friday.
Troopers said the out-of-control car slammed into the back of a tow truck at a body shop off the road, cutting open the passenger side of the car.
The owner of the body shop showed Eyewitness News the trail of damage, as the car continued on another 100 yards through a field before coming to a stop.
"We go to wrecks all the time. We're on highway patrol rotation, and we see a lot of things, but you don't expect them in your own yard," said owner Scott Propst.
Troopers said the passenger, 22-year-old Jose Hernandez-Ortiz, was dead when they arrived on scene.
Arce managed to walk through the field and across the street before collapsing.
He was taken to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries, and then Friday afternoon troopers arrested him on charges of involuntary manslaughter and death by motor vehicle.
Investigators said alcohol was a factor in the crash.
Propst said it was a horrific scene that will be hard to forget.
"It will be a bad week for the families," said Propst.
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