RALEIGH — Police on Thursday wheeled a man out of WakeMed to Central Prison in Raleigh, where he is being held under $2 million bail on charges that he killed an elderly couple during a traffic accident on St. Patrick’s Day while drinking and driving.
Raymond Norman Rouse IV, 34, of 2527 Trout Stream Drive in Raleigh, has been charged with two felony counts each of second-degree murder and death by motor vehicle, a spokesman with the City-County Bureau of Identification said.
Rouse had been a patient at WakeMed since March 17, after the car he was driving crossed the center line on Wade Avenue and crashed head-on into another car and killed Ormond Jackson Bailey, 83, and his wife, Gaynell Batton Bailey, 79, both of 3109 Hickory Road in Raleigh. He was in a wheelchair when he was taken to the Wake County Magistrate’s Office late Thursday morning.
Police had already charged Rouse with driving while impaired and traveling the wrong way on the day of the accident. Police upgraded the charges after consulting with the Wake County District Attorney’s Office.
“Anytime there’s a motor vehicle accident that results in death or serious injuries, it’s common practice for our officers to consult with the district attorney, and they did so in this case,” said Jim Sughrue, a Raleigh police spokesman.
The accident happened at 1:18 p.m., police reported.
Rouse was driving his 2008 Kia in the wrong direction in an eastbound lane of Wade Avenue, near the Glenwood Avenue intersection that leads to the Cameron Village shopping center.
Ormond Bailey was driving his 2002 Mercury east in that lane, and his wife was in the passenger seat. After the collision, an off-duty paramedic and his wife were among the first to stop to try to help, according to a tape of a 911 call.
“There were two sedans. It was a head-on. The guy was in the wrong lane driving down the road,” a woman who said she was the wife of the paramedic told an emergency dispatcher.
The caller described a dreadful scene. At least one person was pinned in the mangled wreck as smoke began to spew.
The Baileys went to an early service at New Hope Baptist Church that day, with plans to get a bite to eat afterward.
The couple had altered their usual routine of going to the 11 a.m. service, church members said, so they could get home in time to watch the final matchup of the ACC basketball tournament.
An accident report released Thursday afternoon by the Raleigh Police Department indicated Rouse at the time of the crash had a blood alcohol content of 0.17, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.