Jimmy Gilchrist is facing a number of felony and misdemeanor charges. The fatal incident happened around 2:53 a.m. on Center Street at the Craven Street intersection in the Massey Hill subdivision.
Authorities said Gilchrist was driving a white GMC Yukon north on Center Street when he ran through a stop sign and hit the driver's side door of a Chevrolet Aveo that was going west on Craven Street towards Southern Avenue.
The impact sent the car flying about 200 feet, as Gilchrist nearly collided into Wilma Hernandez's home. He barely missed her bedroom window.
"Oh, he hit me (my house) so hard that everything kind of fell down," said Hernandez. "The impact was really tremendous. It sounded so bad."
Outside Hernandez and other witnesses say paramedics tried to save the driver of the Aveo, 28-year-old Joseph Snoke, who was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
"They were really pumping (CPR) hard, but I didn't think he was going to make it," said Hernandez.
"I heard one of the officers say 'He's already gone,'" added neighbor Celeta Taylor.
Snoke was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. His passenger, 37-year-old Kesha Oxendine, was airlifted to UNC, where she remains in critical condition.
After the crash, Gilchrist ran from his vehicle, leaving it at the scene.
Prior to that collision, police said Gilchrist was passed out in the parking lot of a Cook-Out restaurant on Owen Drive, which is about a mile from the accident scene. They said when someone woke up Gilchrist, he hit at least two cars before taking off into the Massey Hill neighborhood.
A Crimestoppers tip led authorities to Gilchrist, after he was seen walking along Cedar Creek Road around 9:30 a.m.
Gilchrist has been charged with voluntary manslaughter, felonious hit-and-run, and careless and reckless driving for the fatal accident. Gilchrist also faces misdemeanor hit-and-run and driving with a revoked license charges for the collisions in the Cook-Out parking lot. His bond has been set at $20,000.
Hours before the crash, Gilchrist posted on Facebook about a night of drinking and documented his travels. Police are still investigating alcohol-related factors.
"You know it's terrible. So I'm just glad they got him where he was and hope nothing like that ever happens again because people are losing too much family," Taylor said.
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