BURKE COUNTY, N.C. — State troopers told Channel 9 that a driver who hit and killed a 14-year-old who was riding an ATV over the weekend in Burke County was not at fault in the collision.
Steve Carroll, 61, was charged with DWI, driving with an open container and driving with a revoked license. He admitted to taking pain pills, troopers said.
Officials said Jacob Wright pulled out of a driveway onto Baptist Camp Road in Connelly Springs Saturday, and was hit and killed by the vehicle Carroll was driving.
"He loved to hunt and fish and ride,” said grandfather Elmer Wright.
Logan Duran, 13, who was also on the ATV, was later pronounced dead at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
Carroll said he didn't see the teenagers until they pulled out in front of him.
He said he swerved hard to the left, causing his SUV to overturn, but also struck the boys.
"I am so, so sorry,” Carroll said. “I know I shouldn't have been out there on the highway. I'll take the blame for that. And if I could give my life to bring him back, I would in a second."
The impact caused front-end damage to the SUV, which overturned during the crash. Carroll was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Four-wheelers are not allowed on North Carolina roads, though troopers said the district attorney will review the case and could file more charges against Carroll. Neither boy was wearing a helmet, troopers said.
The highway patrol said Carroll also had his 3-year-old granddaughter in the vehicle and was driving with an open container of alcohol at the time of the wreck.
According to court officials, Carroll had two DWI convictions in the 1990s.
Stan Jenkins, who witnessed the wreck, believes Carroll shouldn't have been on the road and should face more charges in the case.
"I was around him when he was talking and he was completely out of it,” Jenkins said. “I think he needs to be charged with everything he can be charged with."
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