Friends hold vigil for man killed in crash

March 4, 2008 9:17:36 PM PST
Friends of Matthew Kraft are gathering for a vigil in Cary Tuesday night. He was killed by a suspected drunk driver who was trying to run from police.

The crash happened Saturday morning at the intersection of Rock Quarry and Proctor roads -- just south of the Beltline.

The suspect, Kenya Alston, faced a judge Tuesday and his appearance came with some drama.

A judge upgraded the charged against Alston to murder. It was an unexpected blow to the suspect and it brought his family to their knees.

Police say the 31-year-old made a deadly decision early Saturday morning when an officer pulled him over for a broken headlight and he sped away.

"I just had a vehicle take off from me at a traffic stop," the officer said.

Alston was going 70 mph down Rock Quarry Road when his car slammed into Kraft and his girlfriend, Michelle Dixon. The two were waiting at a traffic light.

"I just kind of held him in my arms until the ambulance got there ," Dixon said.

Kraft died a day later. Alston turned himself in after posting bond on DWI and speeding charges.

Now he faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run and first-degree murder.

"He was a great friend, and he'll be missed by many," Chili's Manager Joey Zelenka said.

Kraft worked at the Chili's on Kikdaire Farm Road in Cary.

Zelenka will be among dozens of people remembering 21-year-old Kraft Tuesday night. Outside the restaurant where he worked there's a newly planted tree in his honor.

"Everybody here at Chili's at Cary has come together as a family," Zelenka said.

"He was so good to me and everybody," Dixon said. "He had such a big heart. He really did."