Teen charged with DUI in wreck that killed fellow A.L. Brown grad

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 18, 2013

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — An 18-year-old Kannapolis man has been charged with driving under the influence in the Friday night wreck that killed a passenger who was also from Kannapolis, the Myrtle Beach Sun News reported.
Taifa Metho Kituku, 18, was charged Monday with felony driving under the influence with death results and two counts of felony driving under the influence with great bodily injury, the newspaper reported.
Braydon Harding, 19, was a passenger in the back seat of Kituku’s vehicle when it was struck by another vehicle at 11:30 p.m. Friday. Police said Kituku ran a red light in his Nissan Sentra and was struck by a Ford Excursion SUV, the Sun News reported.
They were on a beach trip a week after graduating from A.L. Brown High School. Two other 18-year-old men in the Sentra were injured in the crash and had to be freed from the car by firefighters.
No one in the Ford was injured, according to the Sun News report.
The newspaper cited a Myrtle Beach police report that said officers noted Kituku’s eyes were glassy and red. Kituku initially denied drinking alcohol, but later admitted he had been drinking liquor earlier that day, but “that he didn’t drink much,” according to the report.
The newspaper reported that when he learned of Harding’s death, Kituku told police the wreck was his fault.
Officers could not perform a field sobriety test because of Kituku’s injuries, but they took blood and urine for testing while he was being treated at the hospital, the Sun News reported.
Officers noted in the police report Kituku suffered minor injuries to his head and bruising from a seatbelt, the Sun News reported.
Harding had wrestled for the A.L. Brown Wonders. Principal Kevin Garay called him a charming and polite student who had planned to attend Chowan College this fall and study engineering.