N.J. man freed on bail after I-40 crash that killed Durham woman

From staff reportsJanuary 28, 2014 

— Court officials have set a Feb. 12 appearance date for a New Jersey man charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle in a fatal crash on Interstate 40 in Raleigh on Sunday.

Brandon Lewis Jefferson, 22, of Budd Lake, N.J., was charged Sunday night after he was treated at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh. Jefferson was taken before a magistrate after his arrest and later freed on $2,000 bail.

The crash killed Catherine Obie, 83, of Durham when an eastbound car went into the westbound lanes of the interstate between Lake Wheeler Road and Gorman Street.

Police said several vehicles were involved in the crash, which closed westbound I-40.

Police got the report of the crash at 4:46 p.m., police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

One witness who called 911 immediately after the crash said one of the cars went airborne.

“One jumped and went in the air about 10 feet and ran right in front of me,” the unidentified caller told a dispatcher. “I went right under him.”

The caller also said Obie already appeared to be dead.

“There’s no question she’s dead,” he said, in a recording of the call released Monday.

Another caller said a car was flipped over on its roof and that the driver had crawled out and was standing next to it.

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