• Police: 2 die after crash caused by convicted drunk driver

    By: Kathryn Burcham


    MONROE, N.C. - Monroe police said a convicted drunk driver will face new charges after he allegedly killed a 70-year-old woman and seriously injured her boyfriend.

    Police said Jose Estevez Herrera had been drinking and had beer cans in the floor of his truck when he crossed the median on Highway 74 Wednesday night.

    Investigators said Herrera struck a car head on and forced it into the path of a tractor trailer in the eastbound lanes, killing Laral Callahan.

    Police said they had to cut Callahan and her boyfriend, Paul Randall, out of the car before rushing Randall to CMC Union with serious injuries.

    Randall died Friday from his injuries, according to officials.

    "It was just a tragic and emotional scene last night for the emergency service personnel," said city spokesman Pete Hovanec.

    Neighbors told Channel 9 the couple had just purchased an RV and were planning to travel cross country.

    "They shared a home, shared a lot of things. It's going to be very difficult, and we are going to miss her, we really are," said neighbor David Woollen.

    According to state prison records, Herrera was convicted of DWI in 2002 and 1996, and convicted of driving while license revoked in 1998 and 1999.

    Investigators said Herrera suffered a broken ankle in the accident but was treated and released.

    Officials: 70-year-old woman killed in U.S. 74 wreck in Monroe

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