Police say that a woman behind the wheel in a rollover crash in Gaston County, North Carolina was sober when the accident occurred. Law enforcement believes the woman was texting when the accident happened. However, authorities say that she was not the one in control of the steering wheel. Law enforcement says that her passenger was steering-and officials say that the passenger was under the influence of alcohol.
Authorities have charged the sober 19-year-old driver with aiding and abetting driving while impaired in the incident. She is also accused of allowing an unlicensed person to drive.
The allegations follow a single-vehicle wreck that was reported around 9:15 Thursday evening on U.S. 321 near Dallas, North Carolina. Police say that the pickup truck the two young women were traveling in left the road, struck a road sign and apparently rolled more than one time.
The female passenger was thrown from the pickup in the rollover. She suffered serious injuries and was taken to Gaston Memorial Hospital, where she was listed in Fair condition by Friday. Police believe that the passenger had been steering the truck when it wrecked. Police say that charges may be pending for the female passenger.
Meanwhile, the 19-year-old driver, a Lincolnton, North Carolina resident, was booked into the Gaston County Jail early Friday morning and was later released.
A first time aiding and abetting charge in North Carolina can lead to harsh consequences if a person is convicted. Typically, the consequences of an aiding and abetting DWI conviction can be very similar to a level 5 DWI offense.
- WSOC TV, “Authorities: Teens were texting, drinking before serious crash,” March 29, 2013
- Gaston Gazette, “Police: Impaired passenger steers car, wrecks on highway,” Wade Allen, March 29, 2013