Corrections officer accused of distracted driving after hitting, killing man

Troopers: Driver hit, killed man walking in grass along highway in Lenoir

LENOIR, N.C. — A detention officer from Burke County was indicted Wednesday for involuntary manslaughter.

The Highway Patrol said Ginger Laws was distracted by her cellphone when she stuck and killed 45-year-old Scottie Hilton on July 16.

The crash happened around 7:30 a.m. on U.S. 321 (Blowing Rock Boulevard) near Echo Drive in Lenoir.

Content Continues Below

She was on her way to work at the Burke Catawba District Confinement Facility in Morganton.

Ginger Laws' supervisor said they are still looking into whether she will keep her job.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol told Channel 9's Dave Faherty in July that Ginger Laws was driving a pickup truck ran off the road and hit Hilton, of Lenoir, who was walking in the grass along the southbound lanes.

“We don’t have any indication that the pedestrian was in the road-based on our evidence here at the scene,” N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper F.J. Beam said.

Investigators said they found pieces of a pickup truck on the ground near the scene, and they have taken the driver's phone to figure out where she went off the road.

Channel 9 spoke to the Ginger Law's sister, who said the family is praying for everyone involved.

"I think it's a tragedy for everybody that's involved. We're praying for all the families. Everybody's going through a rough time right now, so it's just a real hard time," said Shannon Laws in July.

Shannon Laws said her sister is devastated by what happened.

“She is very tore up, which tears me up because I’m hurting for her and I can’t do nothing,” Laws said. “All I can do is tell her, ‘We’re praying for her.’”

This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for more information. 

>> Reading this story in our app? The new "Follow the Lead" feature allows you to tap the blue tag indicated with a '+' to subscribe to alerts on the very latest breaking news updates.