Trooper to return to full-duty after fatal crash


Friday, the Highway Patrol cleared Trooper A.S. Samuel of any wrongdoing in the crash which killed Maurilla Leon, on U.S. Highway 301 in Rocky Mount.

Highway Patrol investigators determined Samuel couldn't avoid the collision after Leon pulled out in the middle of the intersection.

Samuel was driving eight miles over the limit at the time of the wreck.

"The cause of this collision was clearly the fact that Ms. Leon failed to yield the right of way and pulled into the path of the vehicle. So the speed the trooper was going -- whether he was going substantially lower than that -- based on the calculations, based on the investigation -- he would've still had that collision," said State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Gordon.

However, Leon's husband Nicholas Santana thinks the trooper was distracted, unable to stop in time. He denied Leon should be to blame.

"I don't think so, that she's at fault, really, really," said Santana. "I don't think she's at fault. She has... I'll tell you one more time, she has plenty of precautions, and she never had any tickets."

The State Highway Patrol said there's no indication the trooper was distracted. It's unclear if he will be cited for speeding.

Samuel has been on desk duty since the crash, but he will return to his normal duties Monday.

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