Man ticketed in fatal groom accident

Karen Taylor and Chris Raynor (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

February 5, 2010 9:28:44 PM PST
The doctor who caused a car wreck that killed a man on his wedding day, walked out of court Friday with only a traffic ticket.The accident happened on Sept 12, 2009 on Westgate Road at Glenwood Avenue toward I-540.

The groom, 28-year-old Christopher Raynor, and his groomsmen were on their way to brunch before Raynor's wedding when a car ran a red light on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh.

Raynor was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the back seat and hit by a third car on the street. Raynor was taken to Wake Med Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"The wedding ceremony was replaced by a quick, but heart-felt memorial service," said Donald Beskind, attorney for victim's family.

On Friday, the driver who ran the red light, James Howard Early, a doctor in Asheville, walked out of court convicted only of running a red light and was fined $100.

The Raynor family agreed with prosecutors to drop charges of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

Early pleaded "responsible" through his attorney and sat motionless in court.

Prosecutors noted Early had no criminal history and a clean driving record.

They said he was distracted as he tried to navigate roads on which he was not familiar.

The judge said she hoped Early would help spread the message of the dangers of driving while distracted with other things.

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