Man accused of DWI in Burke County head-on crash faced similar charges

BURKE COUNTY, N.C. — A woman is in the hospital after a head-on crash near Burke County Tuesday night and the driver accused of hitting her is now facing DWI charges.

The crash happened along U.S. Highway 64 near Duckworth Circle south of Morganton, first responders with Salem Fire Rescue said.

Justyn Sparks who allegedly caused the crash has faced similar charges in the past.

He has been arrested three times for driving while impaired in the past two-and-a-half years, according to court documents.

Police said Sparks was driving with a revoked license at the time of Tuesday night’s wreck.

Resident Lorna Coffey showed Channel 9′s Dave Faherty where the crash happened in front of her home along Highway 64.

Investigators said a pickup truck slammed head-on into a car after passing other vehicles on the two-lane road.

State troopers said the driver of the truck, Sparks, had also consumed alcohol.

“It’s sad,” Coffey said. “I’ve got four grandchildren that drive up and down this road every day so it’s upsetting that he is out on the road,” Coffey said.

Firefighters cut the roof off the car to rescue the driver, Karla Hoffman.

Weather conditions prevented them from airlifting Hoffman to a hospital.

Ralph Crowder was home when he heard the crash and then spoke with several witnesses.

“He should have known better,” Crowder said. “He passed them back down the road toward town and (they) said he was flying coming this way.”

A metal fabricator business down the road shared a surveillance video that shows the truck passing cars on Highway 64 before the violent crash.

Sparks was convicted of a previous DWI 14 months ago.

The conviction was a little more than a year after being arrested in a third DWI case in Burke County, which was later dismissed, court documents show.

Coffey is praying for Hoffman’s recovery and for Sparks.

“Praying for him too that God would turn his life around because it changed her life just like that,” she said.

The highway patrol said Hoffman was in an Asheville hospital in stable condition.

VIDEO: Troopers: 2 killed, 2 hurt after head-on crash in Chesterfield County