Published: Dec 15, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: Dec 15, 2012 08:32 PM
WENDELL - It took 13 years, but authorities arrested a local man last week for his involvement in a Durham wreck that killed his friend.
On Dec. 10, Wendell police arrested Paedro Louis Pittman, 39, of 401 Cedarfield Court, Wendell, for involuntary manslaughter after he drunkenly drove into a utility pole on Hardee Street in Durham on April 22, 1999 – killing a passenger in his car.
43-year-old William A. Brown, was taken to a hospital in Durham where he later died.
According to the 1999 Durham police report, Pittman was traveling an estimated 50 miles-per-hour on a street with a 35 mile-per-hour speed limit when the vehicle hit the pole and Brown was ejected. The police report shows that Pittman’s blood-alcohol level was .18 – more than twice the legal limit.
Witnesses told police in 1999 that Pittman and Brown had been drinking beer and brandy in the parking lot of Pine Crest Apartments before they left in Pittman’s 1990 Honda Accord to buy more beer. The crash occurred on their way back from a convenience store – only 50 yards from the apartment complex.
According to the police report, neither man was wearing the lap portion of his safety belt.
The 1999 report indicates Pittman was detained for speeding, driving while impaired, and for driving while his license was revoked. It’s unclear if Pittman ever stood trial for those crimes, or if he was served his warrant for involuntary manslaughter.
Bill Carter, Wendell police chief, said last week that a Wendell patrolman spotted Pittman committing a traffic violation, then followed him home after the police database showed an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
Despite Pittman’s arrest, it’s unclear when he will appear in court.
As of Wednesday, the Durham County Clerk of Court’s Office was not aware of Pittman’s arrest.
Pittman posted $25,000 bond and was released from the Wake County Jail the same day he was arrested.
Attempts to contact him were unsuccessful.