Man charged in Knightdale crash that killed husband, injured wife

Wake County News

A man is dead and his wife is seriously injured after their vehicle was hit head-on by a wrong-way drunk driver on U.S. Route 64 Business in Knightdale Sunday morning, according to North Carolina State Highway Patrol officials and court documents.

According to troopers, a vehicle being driven the wrong way by Jesus Velez-Alvarado, 28, of Wilmington, slammed head-on into another vehicle around 1:50 a.m. Sunday.

The man who was driving the other vehicle, identified by family members as Leroy Owens, was killed in the crash.

UPDATE: DWI suspect now facing felony death charge in fatal Knightdale wrong-way crash

His wife, Lakeatia Daniels-Owens, suffered a “traumatic life-threatening” injury, according to Wake County court documents. Family members told CBS 17 that Daniels-Owens is on life support.

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According to court documents, Velez-Alvarado is charged with one count of felony serious injury by vehicle, one count of driving while impaired and one count of wrong way on dual lane highway. Although officials confirmed a death in the case, court documents do not reference a death and no charges are related to the death.

Documents show that Velez-Alvarado “had [the] odor of alcohol on [his] breath, bloodshot glassy eyes, admitted to being drunk” at the scene of the crash.

Although he admitted to being drunk, the suspect refused an alcohol test, documents show. Despite his refusal, a blood sample was taken because a search warrant was issued and executed in the case, which legally gives authorities the right to take the sample.

A “DWI Findings Checklist” included with the court documents shows that Velez-Alvarado was “coherent and understanding of charges” and told authorities he was “just out riding around” when the crash occurred.

A Department of Homeland Security immigration detainer has been issued for Velez-Alvarado. According to the document, the suspect is a citizen of Mexico and there is “biometric confirmation” of his identity showing that he is not a United States citizen.

He is being held in the Wake County Detention Center under a $53,000 secured bond. His first court appearance is set for today.

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