Driver Facing DWI After Fatal Accident

By: Christine Kennedy / Bill Wilson
By: Christine Kennedy / Bill Wilson

Troopers say a Wilson County man is in jail after a deadly accident Thursday night in Craven County.

Javier Rodriguez of Sims is charged with DWI, exceeding safe speed, having slick tires, and driving without a seat belt.

Troopers say a passenger in Rodriguez's car was killed in the accident on Highway 70 near Carolina Pines. The body of 20-year-old Jason Ethridge, also of Sims, had to be cut out of the vehicle.

The Highway Patrol says Rodriguez's car crossed the center line and struck a car driven by Melissa Depriest, who is a Cherry Point Marine. Depriest was taken to Pitt County Memorial Hospital with a broken leg.

Rodriguez is in the Craven County jail on a $10,000 bond.


Original Story

Slick roads are being blamed for at least one deadly crash in the east tonight.

Troopers say a Camaro crossed the center median on Highway 70 near Carolina Pines while traveling east.

They say it slammed into a Malibu traveling in the westbound lane at around 6pm.

The passenger of the Camero is dead and had to be taken to a local church to be extracted from the vehicle.

Both drivers are in critical condition at Craven Regional Medical Center. Traffic was halted going westbound into for about 15 minutes.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by danielle Location: wilson on Mar 5, 2009 at 07:50 AM
    that was my cousin that was killed and he had wrap his daughters christmas present before he left to know she has to grow up with out her daddy is the sad part she loved her daddy. jason was a great person and thank every one for ur comments i dnt blame the driver for killing him my cousin did have a choice but he will be charge and he should he had a choice to. but most i blame him for tryin to run.... but any way thanks
  • by Sam Location: Williamston on Dec 15, 2008 at 11:53 AM
    Apparently, some of you who are talking about the charges that should go on his record, must think that a DWI is just like any other ticket like speeding or passing on a solid yellow line. It's much worse. You may not realize actually how serious a DWI is. The amount of money and/or jailtime is very high, and not much lower than manslaughter or attempted murder or homicide.
  • by Sam Location: Williamston on Dec 15, 2008 at 11:46 AM
    If I had to take a guess, they must of had a real good time down at the beach and probably thought, oh we will get back, nothing is going to happen. That is plain stupid and the guy with the DWI is now probably going to be in some serious financial trouble, ans will also have to live knowing the fact that he basically killed his own friend. It's not worth it.
  • by sasha Location: elliott on Dec 14, 2008 at 08:14 PM
    jason jason jason; never thought ida heard that he was gone from here :( you are truely missed man :(
  • by BBQ Lover Location: Greenville on Dec 13, 2008 at 11:01 PM
    This is a shame, another person died because of a drunk driver. Folks just don't get it about drinking and driving!
  • by Carrie Location: Nash County on Dec 13, 2008 at 06:05 PM
    I knew and have known since he was little Jason Etherdige and this is heart breaking. He was a father, a son and a grandchild. May he rest in the hands of God. My heart and prayers are with his family. I know Javier as well and I think he should be charged with vehicle manslaughter not just the other charges. He killed his friend and knew he was intoxicated before he got behind that wheel. Jason, you will be dearly missed.
  • by Mary Location: North Carolina on Dec 13, 2008 at 04:42 PM
    A DWI charge should be the least of Mr. Rodriguez's problems. Vehicular homicide should be the charge he is facing.
  • by that same guy... Location: ENC on Dec 13, 2008 at 05:49 AM
    ...WITN, please inquire if this is another illegal alien.
  • by George on Dec 12, 2008 at 06:56 PM
    This guy should go to jail!
  • by Jess Location: Pink Hill, NC on Dec 12, 2008 at 04:16 PM
    I have had a family member die from a drunk driver, 2 days before she was 16yrs old. He got 270 in jail, suspended to 270 hours of community service. I cant stand a person gets behind a wheel knowing that they are drunk. They know that they are going to drive before drinking, so I think that if they kill someone, they should get premeditated murder. If a person is stopped for drinking and driving, they should not be charged with a DWI, they should be charged with attempted murder. I dont have a lot of money and have always said if I become rich one day, my live, time an money will be dedicated to putting drunk drivers behind bars.
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