RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The man charged in the death of a 5-year-old Hillsborough boy who was hit by an unattended dump truck that rolled down a hill worked for a local contracting company with a suspended license, documents show.
Alejandro Suarez, 28, of Angier, is charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in the death of Everett Copeland on Monday.
Authorities said that the truck was being loaded with dirt at the time but that it “rolled away from its work area.”
The vehicle then rolled down a hill, hit a light pole and then hit 5-year-old Everett Copeland before crashing into the house at 205 Dogwood Bloom Lane.
The boy was hit while in a driveway of his own home, officials said. In photos, a construction truck could be seen smashed into a garage.
“Suarez was determined to be responsible for control of the vehicle,” Hillsborough officials said.
Police said Suarez left the truck, which was on a hill, unattended, without turning off the engine and effectively setting the parking break.
According to an arrest report, Suarez works for Kala Contracting, Inc., which has an Apex address. That company is listed on the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State’s website as being under “revenue suspension” as of July. The company does not appear to have been reinstated. Carrie Ward is listed as the president of the company.
According to the document suspending the company, the company may be operating illegally.
“Any act performed or attempted to be performed while the entity is suspended is invalid and of no effect until the entity is reinstated by the North Carolina Department of Revenue pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 105-232.”
In addition to working for a company with a suspended license, Suarez is also an illegal immigrant, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
ICE said in a statement:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a request that local law enforcement notify ICE prior to releasing Alejandro Suarez, a Mexican national unlawfully present in the United States, following his arrest December 26, on misdemeanor death by motor vehicle charges out of Orange County, North Carolina. Suarez is an ICE enforcement priority due to a prior conviction for driving under the influence in 2009.”
Suarez was arrested following the incident and placed in Orange County Jail under a $10,000 secured bond. He had his first court appearance Wednesday where he appeared via video while still behind bars.
His attorney, Bill Young, said his client is devastated by what happened.
“…This is a truly, truly good person that is literally devastated at being even remotely or directly [connected] to a tragedy like this,” he said.
Young says his client has not spoken to the victim’s family, but while he’s locked up, he sends his condolences.
“No matter what, or who is responsible, or who’s the owner of anything, his number one concern, and it’s the only thing he talks about right now, is being concerned for the family of this deceased child,” said Young.
CBS North Carolina has reached out to Kala Contracting, Inc. We have not received a response.
In a statement Thursday, the community where the home is located said that it has asked builders to stop all work in the community for the time being.