NC man faces DWI, other charges after woman dies in I-85 crash

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A 40-year-old Graham man faces a series of charges related to a fatal crash on Interstate 85 Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

Thursday, the State Highway Patrol released the name of the passenger who died in the collision. Lisa Nicole Parker, 35, of Mebane, died when the vehicle she was riding in, lost control, striking two other vehicles before coming to a final rest.

Photo of the crashed van from Orange County Emergency Services

The driver, Robert Jason Mace of Graham, was charged with:

  • Felony death by a motor vehicle
  • Felony serious injury by a motor vehicle
  • Driving while impaired
  • Careless and reckless driving
  • Failure to maintain lane control
  • Improper passing

The crash, in which one person died, involved three vehicles and happened just after 4 p.m. in Hillsborough at the exit for N.C. 86, Lt. Jeff Gordon of the N.C. Highway Patrol said.

Officials said Mace was driving a passenger van south on I-85 when his vehicle left the roadway and truck a tractor trailer stopped on the shoulder.

Mace’s van then slammed into a Toyota pick-up truck, driven by Jason Graffunder, 41, of Burlington, officials said.

Graffunder’s pick-up truck overturned from the collision.

Parker, the passenger in Mace’s van, died at the scene.

Mace was later released from Duke and processed at the Orange County Magistrates Office.

I-85 was blocked for more than six hours while crews investigated the crash.

Officials said witnesses described Mace as driving careless and reckless as well as passing other vehicles on the right emergency shoulder of I-85.

Investigators believe that alcohol was a factor in this case.

Additional charges may be forthcoming against Mace.

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