Man charged in Wake County head-on crash that killed dad, injured daughter

Wake County News

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WNCN) — A man has been charged in a head-on crash that killed a Clayton father and injured his daughter over the weekend.

The Saturday morning crash on Bethlehem Road near Old Faison Road outside of Knightdale was the latest to take place on that stretch of two-lane road.

Authorities said Joseph Murphy, 33, of Clayton, was killed in the Saturday morning crash when a man driving a GMC pickup truck fell asleep behind the wheel, crossed over the center line and crashed into an oncoming car.

According to a North Carolina State Trooper on the scene, Murphy tried to avoid the pickup truck by turning into the Cathy Lee Day Care and Learning Center parking lot, but the truck struck the driver’s side of Murphy’s car.

On Monday, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said Jose Luis Hernandez, 26, of Wooded Pine Lane in Knightdale was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in the crash.

The road has a history of being prone to accidents.

According to the most recent data from the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s crash frequency map, there were 13 wrecks from 2014-18 at the intersection of those roads.

No one was killed in those accidents, and injuries were reported in only three of them. The other 10 involved only property damage. 

NCDOT records also show that Bethlehem Road has an average daily traffic of 5,900 vehicles. It leads from downtown Knightdale to Poole Road south of Interstate 87.

Murphy was pronounced dead at the scene. His young daughter was his passenger and she suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital. 

Hernandez, the driver of the truck, also was taken to a hospital with injuries that are considered non-life threatening. 

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