Man charged with involuntary manslaughter in fatal Carteret County crash


BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT) District Attorney Scott Thomas said that Leighman Joel Hardesty, 26, of Beaufort, has been charged with aggravated felony death by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter.

On January 22, around 12:15 p.m., Hardesty was driving west on NC 101 near Old Winberry Road in a Silverado pickup truck.

Officials said that Hardesty went left of center causing a head-on collision with a Toyota FJ Cruiser driven by Floyd Woolbright, 50, of Havelock.

Woolbright died at the scene and Hardesty was airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville with serious injuries, officials said.

An investigation by the State Highway Patrol revealed that Hardesty was operating his vehicle in a reckless manner and traveling at a speed in excess of the speed limit for that area.

Further investigation revealed that Hardesty had impairing substances in his body.

Hardesty was arrested upon his release from Vidant Medical Center.

He had a felony first appearance in Carteret County District Court on Wednesday.

The judge set his bond at $500,000 with electronic monitoring and if he makes bond, a curfew of 7:00 p.m. to 7 a.m.

In addition, he is ordered not to use or possess alcohol or any controlled substance, and not to operate a motor vehicle.

His next court date is set for Thursday.

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