Crash report: Driver in I-440 crash had twice legal alcohol limit

From staff reportsMay 4, 2014 

— The driver who killed one and hospitalized another in a two-car crash on I-440 on April 26 had a blood alcohol content twice the legal limit, according to a crash report released Sunday.

Police immediately suspected alcohol after the crash that left Rex Todd, 67, dead and his wife Mary Lou Todd, 66, in the hospital. The wreck also hospitalized Jacob Alexander Press, 21, who on the afternoon of May 2 was taken to Wake County Detention Center, where he remains on $131,000 bond.

The crash report concludes that the truck driven by Press crossed from the far right lane of eastbound I-440 (an exit lane onto Jones Franklin Road) across the median and hit the Todd’s car in the far right lane of westbound I-440. The Todd’s car had just exited I-440 onto the two exit lanes leading to multiple exits, including I-40 and Crossroads shopping center.

Police charged Press with driving while intoxicated the day of the accident. He is also charged with felony death by motor vehicle and felony serious injury and reckless driving. The crash report indicated his car was traveling 67 miles per hour initially. Upon impact after crossing at least five entire lanes of traffic and a grass median, he was traveling 59 miles per hour, according to the report.

Rex Todd was a department head for the Town of Garner from 1984 to 2000, working as the town’s first economic development director. He also helped save the old school building built in 1923, which now houses senior apartments as well as the Garner Performing Arts Center.

Mary Lou Todd met her husband through the town where she worked from 1971 until 2007. She worked her way up from a cashier and clerk to town manager, in 2000 becoming the first female town manager in Wake County.

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