Two killed in Wake County accidents

From staff reportsMay 15, 2010 

— Two drivers lost control of their vehicles on rural Wake County roads this morning, according to the state Highway Patrol. Both drivers crossed the yellow line and left the road, hitting trees.

In both cases a passenger riding with them was killed.

The first accident took place about 4:30 a.m. on White Oak Road near where it crosses Interstate 40 south of Garner.

Shontoya Howard, 17, of Willow Spring was driving east on White Oak when she swerved off the road, said Sgt. Kenneth McCray of the Highway Patrol. Howard’s passenger, Ariel Nicole Hughes, 17, of Garner, was killed.

Troopers are still investigating the cause of the accident but have determined that alcohol was not a factor, McCray said.

The second accident took place at 7:16 a.m. on Lake Wheeler Road south of Raleigh. Isidro Mendez, 32, of Raleigh was driving a pickup truck south on Lake Wheeler when he lost control, McCray said. His passenger, Rafael Virrueta, 27, of Raleigh, was killed.

Troopers say alcohol was a factor in the accident. They charged Mendez with driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving, felony death by motor vehicle and driving without a license, McCray said.

Mendez was released from the hospital late this afternoon and taken to the Wake County jail.

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