HENDERSON, N.C. (WNCN) – The man accused of hitting a state trooper Tuesday night during a traffic stop in Vance County tells CBS17 he’s sorry.
Justin Venable is facing multiple charges but says he didn’t mean to hit Trooper Craig Hundley.
Hundley, who was seriously hurt, was airlifted to Duke Hospital.
“I am very sorry for hitting him. Please forgive me. It wasn’t intentional or anything. Like I said it was getting foggy out and I didn’t see him. I hope he has a speedy recovery,” said Venable.
Venable, 32, says he drives the stretch on U.S. 1 near Sunrock Road in southern Vance County every day.
He says Tuesday night, he saw the trooper’s car and another vehicle stopped on the side of the road.
“There were two or three cars on my left side, so I couldn’t merge over. I passed the car, next thing I knew another trooper pulled me and told me I had hit an officer. I hadn’t realized that,” Venable said.
The incident was reported just before 8 p.m. in the northbound lanes of U.S. 1 just north of the Tar River, according to Master Trooper Chris Knox.
The crash happened after Hundley stopped a vehicle and was walking to the stopped car, Knox said. At that point, a Buick driven by Venable also headed northbound hit Hundley from behind, Knox said.
Venable told CBS17 he had his radio up so he didn’t hear anything at the time nor felt any impact.
Venable, who is charged with DWI, admitted to CBS 17 to drinking before the crash.
“I did stop on the way home and had a drink at one of the bars, but then I just proceeded to come on home. Like I said, I wasn’t drunk. Once they gave me the test it showed I had alcohol in my system,” he said.
In addition, Venable is also charged with felony hit-and-run, felony violation of the move over law, careless and reckless driving and possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage.
Venable was placed under a $35,000 secured bond. He has since bonded out.
His first court appearance is set for Nov. 12
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