Man Charged With DWI After Fatal Crash; Released From Jail 8 Hours Earlier

Authorities say a man who had been released from jail less than eight hours earlier was involved in a fatal crash that killed another man and injured a woman.

The Highway Patrol says 20-year-old Paul O'Connor of Ayden died after the car he was riding in crashed into a tree and overturned.

Troopers say the driver, 21-year-old Tommie Thompson III, was traveling 90 miles per hour down Ivy Road, outside of Greenville Tuesday night around 10:15. They say he went off the road, hit a ditch, crashed into a tree and then flipped.

Seventeen-year-old Jacy Wilson was also in the vehicle. She was treated and released from Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

The Highway Patrol says Thompson and O'Connor were not wearing seat belts. They also say Thompson and Wilson made up a story that another person had been driving and ran from the crash. Troopers say the two later admitted at the hospital that Thompson was behind the wheel .

Thompson faces DWI, felony death by motor vehicle, driving while license revoked and reckless driving charges. He and Wilson are charged with possession of marijuana. His bond is set at $155,000.

Jail records show Thompson was arrested May 18th on a larceny charge and was released on bond at 2:40 p.m. Tuesday.

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  • by Kara Strother Location: Greenville, NC on Jun 15, 2011 at 06:42 AM
    paul; i miss you more and more everyday. i can't believe your gone it's like yesterday we were hanging together and playin xbox live. i know you and clayton are watchin over us. i love you paul. gone but never forgotten!
  • by ALEX Location: ENC on Jun 3, 2011 at 03:52 AM
    NO ONE has the right to put mine or my kids lives in danger without my consent.
  • by Pat Location: Greenville NC on Jun 1, 2011 at 08:15 PM
    I am appalled that someone would say "kids will be kids" like the drunk driver was just being a delinquent and spray painting grafitti or something. Come on, a young man lost his life because of an idiot who chose to drive drunk and drive 90 miles an hour. We have drunk drivers taking out our mailboxes on our road all the time, in fact, a young man almost killed himself in front our house a week ago! Just think if a vehicle had been coming the other way or his car had gone into a house with a family inside. Think of all the people including the deceased young man's family that have been hurt by one man's totally selfish behavior!!!
  • by Public on Jun 1, 2011 at 07:35 PM
    Seat belts have saved lives, but alcohol breathalizers would save more. They should be required! It should be mandatory for first-time DWI's and with improvements, they should be part of any "start up" on all cars! So simple and so many lives saved.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 21, 2011 at 07:45 PM in reply to Public
      while i agree with you with the breathalizers in cars - anyone in the car who hasn't had a drink can blow into it and the car will start ... it doesn't have to be the one who received the DWI charge.
  • by sc on May 29, 2011 at 07:25 PM
    Drunk drivers should pay the penalty no matter who or what age they are. They need to stop killing innocent people. If you have someone in your family or a friend that has this problem, make sure they get the help they need to stop. They may not want to or like it but they will thank you and be grateful in the long run! We can't have a double standard folks!!! God bless the families and friends involved!!
  • by markie on May 29, 2011 at 11:27 AM
    I think these kids made some bad choices and now a life is lost now the question will be as if he stay in jail a little longer would paul be living now we know the answer so advice to anyone is that if u getting out of jail go home and pray for a good judge and your time will be short
  • by anonymous on May 27, 2011 at 06:40 AM
    I constantly read about people who cannot find a job it this economy. When I see how some of you write I would be am surprised if you could find a job in any economy.
  • by Donna Location: Blounts Creek on May 27, 2011 at 06:01 AM
    These children are suffering and I find it very disturbing that at a time when a family has lost their child people can get on this site and have discussions on blame and fault. That boy was my nephews best friend and now he is gone it should not matter what Paul or any of the others done let the friends and family have their time you were not standing up trying to help any of the youth before so sit down now with your mouths closed if this is all you can do this site is meant for codolences for the family not as your private ----- place.
  • by erica Location: ayden on May 26, 2011 at 12:39 PM
    paul was a good guy, tho i only knew him for a short time. and paul was like a brother to my best friend..and people dont no how hard it is still u sit in a room wid ur best friend crying her eyes out asking whyy? why is he gone
  • by Holly Location: Washington, NC on May 26, 2011 at 10:49 AM
    It is the sad truth that when you are young the choses you make can and will change your life forever. As we are young we just think live life enjoy it to the fullest, not realize the conscequences of our every action. Though this accident claim the life of a young man, whom will be missed by many, it was just that "an accident". The young man driving will live with the guilt and pain of this accident every day for the rest of his life. Though he should be held responsible for his actions, no one made either of the persons involved get into the car with Mr. Thompson, take another young mans life is not the answer. To the family of Paul's, I will pray for your family. I know the pain is fresh and the memories are strong now but don't forget that those boys were friends and this was not intentional. Paul was a happy loving full of life young man who will be missed. He was loved by many and his memory will live on in their and your hearts forever. God Bless you all and may this accident wake up those around them to show them how tragic one chose can make in just moments. Be safe young people and invaluate every opition before making your final chose because those few moments of thought may change your lives forever and save one also. Tommie, pray honey because the forgiviness you seek can only come from the man above. You have to forgive yourself before he can forgive. God Bless you and yours also sweetie.

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