LUMBERTON, N.C. (WECT) – A Robeson County man is facing murder charges in connection to a wrong-way DWI crash that killed two teens from Wilmington earlier this year.
According to the Robeson County District Attorney’s Office, Broderick Lamont Jones, 38, of Proctorville, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of felony death by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, reckless driving, and driving wrong way following a grand jury indictment on Monday.
Jones is accused of killing Dana Michelle Wilson and her boyfriend Ryan Michael Menke in a crash on US 74 in Robeson County just before 1 a.m. on Feb. 6, 2017.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Jones was leaving a Super Bowl party when he drove onto a west bound exit-ramp and began traveling down US 74 in the wrong direction.
A witness, who was driving from Holden Beach to High Point with his 7-year-old son, encountered Jones on US 74 near Pembroke. The man managed to swerve at the last second and avoid hitting Jones.
Jones continued traveling east in the westbound lane on US 74 when he crashed head-on into a vehicle driven by Wilson just pass the NC 41 overpass in Lumberton. Officials estimated that the combined speed at impact was approximately 150 miles per hour.
Wilson and Menke both died upon impact.
The couple had just left their families in the Wilmington area and were on their way home to Mecklenburg County where Wilson was a student at UNC-Charlotte.
“This has been an especially long and difficult case which resulted in the senseless death of two great kids who were only 18 years old. They had their whole lives to look forward to together which was taken in a split second,” said District Attorney Investigator Erich Hackney.
“In all my years of experience in working traffic crashes, this was one of the most tragic of them all, especially when two young lives were lost,” said Lumberton Police Officer Cedrique Bridges.
Search warrants and court orders were obtained by the District Attorney’s Office for Jones’ vehicle and cell phone records. Multiple items were seized and some have been sent to the state crime lab for further analysis.
Blood samples were also collected from Jones whose blood-alcohol concentration was twice the legal limit, officials said.
Jones was officially arrested Tuesday and made his first appearance in Robeson County Superior Court where he was given a $225,000 bond.
Jones has been arrested for DWI three times prior to February’s fatal crash. He was charged in 2000 and 2008 in Robeson County and June 2016 in Scotland County. Jones had his license revoked in 2008.
Jones also has prior convictions on assault and drug charges.
Walter Lee Bethea, Jones’ half-brother, was also charged in connection to the deadly crash. Bethea owned the 1989 Oldsmobile that Jones was driving at the time of the accident. Bethea was arrested on Aug. 3 and charged with permitting a motor vehicle to be operated without having financial responsibility.
Bethea was given a $1,000 bond. His trial is set for Sept. 6.