RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A man was charged in connection with a crash that killed a 23-year-old Knightdale police officer in October, officials said Saturday.
Dedric Romero Privette is charged with felony death by vehicle, driving while impaired, aggressive driving, two counts of felony serious injury by vehicle, and two counts of felony fail to move over causing serious injury or death.
Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman confirmed the charges are in connection with the Oct. 17 crash on Interstate 540 that killed 23-year-old Knightdale Police Officer Ryan Hayworth and injured another.
The crash happened around 2:40 a.m. on Oct. 17. The two officers were responding to a single-vehicle crash when they were hit from behind by a Mercedes operated by an intoxicated driver, officials said. It happened near mile marker 22 on the eastbound side of I-540 and resulted in all eastbound lanes being closed for several hours.
Authorities identified Privette, 40, as the driver of the 2011 Mercedes Benz S550. They said he failed to reduce his speed as he approached the crash scene.
Privette, whose bond was set at $2 million, is due in court on Dec. 6. As of Saturday, he was still recovering in a hospital, officials said.
Hayworth had been with the Knightdale Police Department for three months. His training officer, Cody Hagler, was injured in the crash, as well. He has since been released from the hospital.
“Ryan’s loss in an indescribable tragedy for our department and our community,” Knightdale Police Chief Lawrence Capps said. “The pain of his death felt the most by his family, friends, and those who knew him best. As we began the process of healing, we ask that you join us in a season of prayer for all of those who have been forever touched by this heartbreaking event.”