More charges in fatal crash

Staff WriterFebruary 16, 2008 

— Police filed more charges Friday against a Selma man accused of intentionally using his truck to kill two people during a three-vehicle crash last month on U.S. 70 in Garner.

Garner police charged Victoriano Thomas Layon, 35, with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of misdemeanor child abuse and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, according to an arrest warrant filed Friday at the Wake County Magistrates' Office.

The new charges stemmed from police investigators' conclusion that Layon fled his vehicle after the wreck, leaving behind his wife and two sons, ages 10 and 15, said Garner police Sgt. Joe Binns.

"The District Attorney's Office elected to do the charges because the children were put in a position where they could be endangered," Binns said.

The charges stem from a collision Jan. 11 at U.S. 70 East and White Oak Road. At that time, police charged Layon with two counts of second-degree murder after witnesses, including his family, said he intentionally rammed his Ford F-150 into the rear of a Ford Taurus.

The collision killed Wanda Gail Altman, 53, of Clayton and her brother, Daris Wayne Hancock, 49, of Star.

The Wake County District Attorney's Office charged Layon with assault with a deadly weapon after a preliminary police investigation determined that Layon's pickup was traveling more than 80 mph when it plowed into the Taurus. Investigators said Layon did not bother to slow down before the collision. That factor and his decision to flee the wreck led to the second-degree murder charges.

Binns said investigators still have "no idea" why the speeding truck rammed the car.

"There was no alcohol or other impairment," Binns said. "He wasn't arguing with his wife or upset, and there's no evidence that he wasn't paying attention because he was upset or anything."

Layon fled after the crash into a nearby stand of woods. He eluded authorities who spent the evening circling the area, while a State Highway Patrol helicopter hovered above the woods. Layon was captured the next morning.

Layon could face up to 34 years in prison if convicted of the second-degree murder charges. He remains in the Wake County jail.

thomasi.mcdonald@newsobserver.com or (919) 829-4533

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