New details in deadly doctor DWI wreck

September 22, 2009 9:17:08 AM PDT
New search warrants released Tuesday reveal more details about a drunken driving wreck that killed a local ballerina.The Triangle doctor charged with 20-year-old Elena Shapiro's death was allegedly travelling 85 mph when he slammed into her car on September 11. That's 40 mph over the posted speed limit of 45.

According to the warrants, authorities are still trying to determine the identity of the woman Dr. Raymond Cook was with just before the crash.

Investigators have seized items that may provide details leading up to the crash.

Police say a computer in Cook's Mercedes may tell investigators how fast the car was travelling and whether the person behind the wheel was wearing a seatbelt or driving erratically.

The warrants indicate Cook appeared drunk at the scene of the crash. Witnesses told police he had a strong odor of alcohol, red, glassy, bloodshot eyes and he was unsteady on his feet. Witness also said the doctor was bumping into people and objects.

Someone who witnessed the crash told police Shapiro had just made a right turn onto Strickland Road off of Lead Mine Rd. when Cook's car ran the red light at Lead Mine and slammed into Shapiro's car.

The warrants also allowed police access to Cook's cell phone for evidence that may reveal his whereabouts prior to his arrival at Piper's Tavern on Falls of Neuse Rd. An investigation revealed he arrived with a woman and appeared to be intoxicated. Also, witnesses say he appeared intoxicated when he left Piper's.

Police say Cook may have been at the Raleigh Country Club prior to arriving at Piper's but that has not been confirmed.

Further investigation of his cell phone including call logs, text messages, e-mails and GPS will hopefully shed more light on the hours leading up to the crash and help identify the woman he was with at Piper's. Police say that woman was not in Cook's car at the scene of the crash.

The warrants do not reveal Cook's alcohol blood level that night. Although the test has been completed, the results may not be released publically until they are revealed in court.

Cook is charged with second-degree murder, careless and reckless driving and driving while impaired.

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