4-year-old killed by allegedly impaired driver on a rural NC road, trooper says
A 4-year-old boy died and two other children were hospitalized Friday when a driver suspected of being impaired hit a stopped truck on a rural North Carolina road, authorities said.
The children were in a 1994 Toyota truck whose driver stopped on Startown Road near Ritchie Road in Lincoln County and waited to make a turn, Master Trooper Christopher Casey said in a news release.
Tracy Michelle Blanton, a 40-year-old Lincolnton resident, failed to slow her northbound Mercedes ML 350 SUV and hit the truck, Casey said.
The 4-year-old died at the scene, Casey said. The other children are 2 and 8, he said.
One child was hospitalized with potentially life-threatening injuries and the other child with non-life-threatening injuries, Lincoln County EMS Manager Kimberly Campbell said.
Neither Blanton nor the truck driver, 63-year-old Lincolnton resident Jorge Isabel Vivas, were hurt, Casey said. Campbell said the drivers refused EMS treatment at the scene.
The children were not restrained by car seats, according to the State Highway Patrol.
Impairment factored into the wreck, Casey said the initial investigation showed.
Blanton was arrested and charged with felony death by vehicle, driving while impaired, failure to reduce speed, possession of methamphetamine, and multiple vehicle violations, according to the trooper. She was jailed on a $65,000 bond, Casey said.
Startown Road was closed for about two hours during the investigation.