A 21-year-old passenger was killed and a 24-year-old driver critically injured Friday morning downtown when the car they were traveling in at twice the posted speed limit went airborne, swerved out of control and crashed in downtown.
Emergency workers pronounced Kaylen Lamaar Downing dead at the scene.
Paramedics transported the driver, Dominick Antoine Downing, 24, to WakeMed with life-threatening injuries, police reported late Friday afternoon.
The two men share the same address in Cary, but police have not said whether they are related.
Police initially considered it a traffic incident, but investigators who recovered a handgun from the wreck declared it a possible crime scene for a time. No charges were filed, however.
It was just after 2:30 a.m. when police were dispatched to South Dawson Street to investigate a wreck.
Dominick Downing was behind the wheel of a 2008 Honda sedan that was traveling south on South Dawson. Kaylen Downing was a front-seat passenger, police reported.
The accident happened at the intersection of West Cabarrus Street, near West Lenoir Street. The posted speed limit there is 35 mph, according to an accident report made public early Friday night.
Investigators say the Honda was traveling about 70 mph and went airborne as it raced through the intersection at West Cabarrus. The car began sliding sideways as it approached West Lenoir. It ran off the right side of the road and slammed into a curb. The Honda rolled and crashed into a guardrail that penetrated the passenger area of the vehicle, according to the accident report.
Police closed South Dawson at West Cabarrus, causing early-morning traffic backups in the area.