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Wrong-Way Allegedly Drunk I-440 Driver Charged With Felony, DWI

Twenty-three-year-old Sarah Aimee Carden is facing several felony charges after she was stopped for driving while impaired on the I-440 beltline. She was driving the wrong way on the beltline, causing a crash that killed one, injured another and closed the interstate for four hours.

Another driver attempting to avoid Carden swerved and lost control, rolling his vehicle several times before coming to a stop. The driver and passenger in this car, both of Raleigh, received the serious and fatal injuries related to the wrong-way DWI.

Carden has been charged with:

  • Felony death by vehicle
  • Felony serious injury by vehicle
  • Felony hit and run resulting in death
  • Felony fleeing to elude arrest
  • Careless and reckless driving
  • Driving while impaired
  • Traveling the wrong way on a dual lane highway

She was finally stopped by police just east of the crash site, near Six Forks Road. According to police reports, the state trooper had to break the driver's side window of her Acura to stop her from driving away. A trooper had followed her for several miles, attempting to get her to slow down or stop, but reports note that she ignored and drove around the officer.

The arresting officer noted a strong smell of alcohol and that Carden did poorly on a variety of field sobriety tests. Carden is being held in Wake County jail; her bail was set at over $150,000. If convicted of the DWI-related charges, Carden could face up to 25 years in prison.

Source: NewsObserver, "Woman charged with DWI, felonies in fatal I-440 crash," June 10, 2012

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