Suspected drunken driver faces additional charge in Whitaker accident

Published 4:36 pm Saturday, June 17, 2017

Staff report

SALISBURY — Salisbury Police have issued an additional charge — aggravated serious injury by vehicle — against the driver accused of causing the accident last Monday that critically injured Kendra Rachelle Whitaker.

Abraham Teya Morris, 43, of Salisbury, was previously charged with driving while impaired, driving at an excessive speed (more than 100 mph) and crossing left of center in connection to the three-vehicle accident Monday morning on West Jake Alexander Boulevard.

This newest charge, which came Friday, resulted from a reconstruction of the accident scene by Master Police Officer Brad Jordan of the Salisbury department.

Jordan conferred with Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook late Thursday and sought the felony warrant on Morris for the aggravated serious injury by vehicle.

Salisbury Police say Morris was arrested again Friday morning at his residence, transported to the Police Department for processing and taken before a magistrate, who set his bond at $50,000.

The family of Whitaker was contacted about the new charge. Whitaker, 35, remains hospitalized at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. She has required multiple surgeries for internal injuries and broken bones.

Emergency personnel needed more than an hour to extricate Whitaker from her  Toyota car after the accident, which occurred about 6:27 a.m. Monday near the entrance to Jimmy’s Clean Car Wash.

Reports said Morris was driving a Honda north on Jake Alexander Boulevard, crossed the center line and struck Whitaker’s Toyota headed in the opposite direction.

Morris and a driver of a Mazda, Laurie Ann Tweed, 42, of Kannapolis, were treated for their injuries that morning and released from area hospitals.