Smithfield teen charged with felony death by vehicle after weekend crash

February 19, 2013 

— A Smithfield teen has been charged with the death of a classmate who was a passenger in his car that crashed as they were returning from a party over the weekend.

Bryan Gilmore, 17, of 9 Sherwood Court was arrested and charged with felony death by vehicle Tuesday afternoon. He was released afer posting a $24,500 bond.

Police say Gilmore was drunk when he crashed his car on Josephine Road in Clayton. The crash killed passenger William Lee Tippett, 18, of Garner. Gilmore and another passenger also were injured.

The teens were returning from a party early Saturday morning, said Trooper D.B. Finch. Police are still trying to determine how the minors got the alcohol.

Because Gilmore was injured, Finch said, police were unable to administer a breathalyzer test to see if he was intoxicated. Instead, they are awaiting the results of a blood test that could take 3 to 4 months.

If convicted, Gilmore could face at least 3 years in prison.

The families of both teens declined to comment Tuesday.

Staff writer Derek Quizon

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