Police: Man on way to court caused collision

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 9, 2011

By Scott Jenkins
GRANITE QUARRY — Authorities say a man on his way to court for a reckless driving charge caused a head-on collision this morning that sent him and another man to the hospital.
Robert Eugene Craver, 34, of 255 Teague Road, Salisbury, has been charged with driving while impaired and driving left of center, said Sgt. K.W. Trivett of the Granite Quarry-Faith Joint Police Authority.
The other driver involved, 57-year-old Terry Lynn Miller of Rockwell, was taken to Rowan Regional Medical Center then transferred to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. Trivett was not sure of the nature of Miller’s injuries.
The wreck happened around 9:30 a.m. in the 200 block of North Main Street at its intersection with West Church Street.
Craver was driving a Dodge Ram extended cab pickup north on Main and crossed into the southbound lane just as Miller was turning into that lane from Church Street, Trivett and a witness said.
The collision caved in the front ends of both trucks on the driver’s side.
Anita Asher said she and her sister, Jennifer Ghent, were on their way to work and were behind Craver’s pickup when the wreck happened.
Asher said Craver swerved into the wrong lane quickly after appearing to look down in the truck “like he was looking down to pick up a phone or something. He crossed the yellow line, and about the same time, the other truck was turning right on Main.”
Asher, who lives near Craver and knows him, went to the truck to check on him. She said he appeared shaken up but not badly hurt. Miller told her he had pain in his chest and he lay down in the seat of his pickup.
Craver’s airbag deployed, but the other man’s did not, Asher said.
Asher said Craver told her that he was late for a court date and was looking for his attorney’s number in his phone when he took his eyes off the road and crossed the center line. Trivett confirmed that’s what Craver told him.
Craver also has several more court dates scheduled this summer on a slew of other charges including driving left of center, resisting a public officer, assault with a deadly weapon and violating a protective order.
Both men were taken by ambulance to Rowan Regional Medical Center after the wreck this morning. Trivett said blood was drawn from Craver and sent to a lab for testing. He said Craver’s impairment appeared to be drug-related.
“He was incoherent and so forth,” Trivett said. “It’s obvious to look at him he’s impaired by something. I’m just not sure what it is.”
Contact Scott Jenkins at 704-797-4248.