Habitual DWI offender triggers NC 42 accident

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 31, 2005

COLERAIN – A Colerain man with a history of DWI convictions has been charged again with that infraction after he allegedly triggered a three-vehicle accident near here last weekend.

Donaciano Gonzalez Cordero, 36, faces five new charges after he reportedly ran a stop sign and slammed into a vehicle occupied by an Ahoskie couple.

Mike and Elizabeth Bryant escaped serious injury during the accident, which occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Elizabeth Bryant was operating a 2000 Chevrolet SUV as it traveled west on NC 42 near the Trap community in Bertie County.

According to a report filed by North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper J.L. Cash, a 1985 Ford truck, operated by Cordero, was traveling north on RP 1002 approaching the Trap intersection.

Cash’s investigation revealed that Cordero disregarded the stop sign on RP 1002 and entered the intersection where his truck struck Bryant’s vehicle in the left side.

On impact, Bryant’s vehicle overturned and struck a 1997 Honda parked in the parking lot of a convenience store. The Honda, unoccupied at the time of the accident, is owned by Latasha Smith of Colerain.

An eyewitness to the accident told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald that a person was pumping gas into the Honda at the convenience store at the time of the accident.

Bryant’s vehicle came to rest on its roof in the parking lot of the convenience store.

Cordero failed to stop his vehicle at the scene of the accident.

He was later arrested and charged with Driving While Impaired (DWI), failure to stop at a stop sign, felony hit-and-run, driving while license are revoked and driving while consuming a malt beverage in the passenger area of the vehicle.

A further study into Cordero’s driving record revealed other DWI charges. He has been convicted twice of DWI in Halifax County (the first charge dated Dec. 19, 2001 followed by another on Jan. 29, 2002). Another DWI and conviction in Northampton County, dated Dec. 15, 2003, is also listed on Cordero’s driving record.

Those three prior convictions coupled with this latest infraction led to another charge, habitual impaired driving, which is listed as a felony.

Cordero was processed by a Bertie County Magistrate and taken to the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail under a $10,000 cash bond.

Cash’s report showed no major injuries were suffered by Mike or Elizabeth Bryant. Both were treated and released from Roanoke-Chowan Hospital.

There was no report of injury to the person pumping gas into the third vehicle involved in the accident.

The Colerain Rescue Squad and the Trap Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene of the accident.