A North Carolina woman who allegedly got behind the wheel drunk and bulldozed through a construction zone — mowing down four workers, and killing one of them — is behind bars following the fatal wreck last weekend.
Danyel McKenzie Middleton, 22, whose blood alcohol levels were “nearly twice the legal limit,” Concord Police told Oxygen.com, was arrested in the accident’s aftermath. Authorities said her blood alcohol level registered at 0.15 percent.
She was charged with death by vehicle when driving while impaired and two counts of serious injury by vehicle, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com.
On Saturday, at around 1:45 a.m., Middleton allegedly left Carolina Ale House in Concord, North Carolina — a small city of about 100,000 people roughly 25 miles northeast of Charlotte — and slid into the driver’s seat of her 2013 Dodge Dart.
She pulled out on Concord Mills Boulevard and traveled east before stopping at a red light and continuing towards Interstate-85, police said. Somehow, the 22-year-old allegedly failed to see a perimeter of orange safety barrel cones where the four construction workers were pouring concrete. The area, police said, was also illuminated by diesel generator lights.
“She entered into those barrels, struck one of them and then traveled the length of the construction zone and hit the four victims,” Concord Police Capt. Todd McGhee told Oxygen.com. “Her vehicle came to rest shortly after she struck the victims. It was clearly marked with the construction barrels — there was no question that that was a work zone."
McGhee said the woman was traveling around 62 miles per hour moments before the wreck.
Construction worker Socorro Maya Martinez, 50, was killed in the crash. Marco Antonio Cruz, 20, was hospitalized and remains in serious condition. Police were unable to specify the nature of his injuries but McGhee said Cruz had sustained “significant traumatic injury.” Victor Ortiz Ceyon, 63, and Victor Martinez Cruz, 37, were also both treated and released from hospital.
The four were reportedly employed by Cruz Brothers Concrete in Graham, North Carolina. Oxygen.com was unable to reach a representative from the company for comment.
“This impacted the lives of many — the victims, the families of the victims, Cruz Brothers Concrete, and also the suspect, Danyel Middleton,” McGhee said.
Middleton also supposedly caused approximately $4,000 in damage to her Dodge, according to the police incident report. The collision occurred less than half a mile from the bar police say Middleton left minutes before.
A spokesperson for Carolina Ale House said that the restaurant is cooperating with authorities.
"We are still part of an active investigation," said the restaurant's spokesperson Katherine Goldfaden.
Goldfaden noted that the bar turned over video surveillance from that evening and have made their staff available to give police statements. She confirmed Middleton was at the establishment on Oct. 19.
"She was at our restaurant and so they are looking to build her timeline and we are part of that timeline," Goldfaden added. "That is where we stand right now. We don’t have a whole lot of information about what’s going on."
McGhee, the Concord Police Department captain, however, described the accident as “tragic” and “completely avoidable.”
“Those were men doing a job, providing a service to our community to make the roadways better and improve the roadways, and now they have a lifelong impact from that bad decision Danyel made,” McGhee said.
Middleton is awaiting trial and is being held at a Cabarrus County jail on a $1,000,000 secured bond. Her next court date is scheduled for Nov. 12, according to online court records.
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