BENSON, N.C. (WTVD) -- Family members of Nicholas McGee told ABC11 that they are devastated by the crash that killed the 24-year-old as well as two other people last week.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol said McGee was likely drunk last Wednesday night when he was driving the wrong way on I-40 westbound in Johnston County and crashed, killing a man and pregnant woman in another vehicle.
His sister Kimberly Carucci spoke with ABC11 in an exclusive interview.
"It's heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking to know that at the end of the day, people are going to view him in a way..as a monster because of what happened. He wasn't a monster," said Carucci. "It's horrible that two other people lost their life and a baby that never even got a chance to see the world. A family that never got a chance to see their own grandchild."
McGee died, too. Authorities say he was thrown from his vehicle.
He was 24.
In 2017, he was just a teenager when he was convicted in Harnett County of drug possession and DWI.
"Sometimes teenagers go into a dark place and our family was going through some stuff at that time and it hit him hard. It took him places I didn't want him to go," said Carucci.
But things were looking up for McGee.
Carucci said he got clean, started a new job, and a landscaping business.
She said she saw him two weeks ago, surrounded by family.
"So proud of him. He was doing really good. He had gotten himself a new pickup truck. He was so proud of it," she recalled.
ABC11 asked Carucci whether she believed he was drinking the night of the crash.
"I don't know," she replied. "I can't rule it out, but I don't, I don't know."
Her brother's story is a cautionary tale and a somber warning for others.
"Don't drink and drive," Carucci said. "Don't be under any of the influence of any sort and drive."
McGee's funeral is Tuesday.
The victims in the other vehicle have not been identified.
'He's not a monster': Sister of alleged drunk driver speaks out after deadly wrong-way crash on I-40
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