Monday, July 26, 2010

Drunk Driving, Murder 2

The Charlotte Observer is reporting on the second degree murder charges against a Gaston, NC driver who killed a 17 year old local girl resulting in his 4th DWI arrest.  This is the Observer by reporters David Perlmutt and Steve Lyttle: 

"A Gaston County man was charged this afternoon with second-degree murder after a Jeep Cherokee he was driving Sunday night slammed into a car and killed a 17-year-old girl who had recently graduated from North Gaston High. Authorities arrested Howard Pasour (mugshot left), 28, of Bessemer City, this afternoon and charged him with second-degree murder, habitual DWI, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to inflict serious injury and three counts of death by vehicle, said a spokeswoman with the Gaston County Sheriff's Department.

Pasour, who has three prior DWI convictions and an array of other arrests, is being held in the Gaston County Jail.

Shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday, he was behind the wheel of a Jeep Cherokee, traveling about 60 mph, when the SUV crossed the center line and collided head-on with an 1984 Oldsmobile driven by 19-year-old Victoria Elizabeth Iffergan, the N.C. Highway Patrol said this morning.  The brunt of the impact was on the Oldsmobile's passenger side, instantly killing Laura Elizabeth Fortenberry, 17, who had graduated from North Gaston High in June. She was pronounced dead at the scene, Patrol First Sgt. Tracy Greene said this morning. Iffergan and a back-seat passenger, 17-year-old Evan Griffith, were air-lifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Iffergan, Greene said, underwent surgery Sunday night. The condition of the two teens isn't known at this time.

Pasour was treated and released, and was at his father's home in Bessemer City this morning, Greene said Pasour's father reported to the highway patrol. So far, the patrol has charged Pasour with DWI -- his fourth since 2002 -- possession of open alcohol containers, driving with a revoked license and reckless driving. N.C. court records show that Pasour has been charged with offenses dating back to 2002, including three DWI convictions, all in Gaston County, and other traffic charges, drug charges, larceny and shoplifting.

Greene said he and Sgt. J.A. Brodhage plan to meet with District Attorney Locke Bell today to discuss additional more severe charges, including death by vehicle, manslaughter or second-degree murder charges. 'We'll present the evidence; we have put together a good package,' Greene said.  Pasour, he said, wasn't given a Intoxilyzer exam because he'd been taken to a hospital. 'Blood was taken and it has been sent to the state lab,' he said. It could take months for blood-alcohol results to be returned.

Open 'alcohol containers' were found the Cherokee, Greene said."
Yeah, you don't want to hear me preach but there is a terrible, cosmic and paradoxical message about the power of alcoholism in this fatality.  Thank God, this young woman was not your daughter or mine.

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