Troopers: Driver was texting when she fatally struck man in NC


LENOIR, N.C. (WBTV) – A driver who investigators now say was texting when she fatally struck a man walking along US Highway 321 in Caldwell County has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The crash happened on July 16. Officials say 45-year-old Scottie Lee Hilton of Lenoir died at the scene. The driver of the pickup that hit him, 32-year-old Ginger Rae Laws of Patterson, was charged on Aug. 7 after an investigation into the incident.

Troopers believe Laws drove the pickup off of the road surface and into a narrow grass strip where Hilton was walking. The accident happened just after 7 a.m. when the weather and visibility were both good. They said at the time they did not believe Laws was impaired, but that they were checking into the possibility she was distracted.

“We will be looking at phone records and things of that nature,” said trooper John Beam in July.

Beam says a report of investigator’s findings and the autopsy results would be handed to the District Attorneys office in the days following the crash. Ultimately, charges were filed against Laws.

No further information has been released.

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