No charge filed one month after trooper accident

A North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper was hurt in an accident that left a woman dead in Rocky Mount.
April 18, 2012 2:15:25 PM PDT
Friday marked one month since a fatal accident in Rocky Mount involving a North Carolina Highway Patrol officer without any charges being filed.

The Patrol said the incident remains under investigation.

According to an accident report, Trooper Arnold Sylvester Samuel was traveling at 53 miles per hour in a 45 miles per hour zone when he struck a vehicle driven by 59-year-old Maurilia Solis Leon on March 6.

It happened along Highway 301 when a 2002 Dodge Stratus, driven by Leon, pulled out in front of the trooper from the parking lot of a Golden Corral restaurant.

Click here to read the report (.pdf)

The Highway Patrol released dash cam video from the officer's car after the crash. It shows Leon's car moving slowly across several lanes seconds before the trooper's car hits it.

While the Patrol admits Samuel was speeding, a spokesperson for the Patrol told ABC11 last month that speed did not cause the fatal wreck because Leon failed to yield the right of way.

ABC11 spoke with Leon's long-time boyfriend Nicholas Santana and another of her friends Friday. They said the lack of answers from authorities has left them feeling in limbo.

"Please give us some answers. We need some closure, and until we get some answers we're not going to have any closure," said Sina Zubia.

The Highway Patrol has said Trooper Samuel tried to swerve to avoid the crash, but Leon's family said it wants to know why the trooper didn't spot Leon's slow-moving car sooner.

"Was he distracted? Was he on his phone? Was he on the computer? Was he looking at something else?" Zubia asked. "We feel like he wasn't paying attention."

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