Drunk driver in fatal crash had pending DWI

The man charged with being intoxicated during a fatal collision had a pending DWI at the time of the crash.

Brian Todd Hieb, 43, of Sherrills Ford, was allegedly drunk when his pickup truck crashed into another vehicle Tuesday, killing Sandra Fay Campbell, 50, of Denver, instantly.

North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper C.M. Trouille, who investigated the crash, said Hieb has a pending DWI charge in Watauga County stemming from an incident in August 2010.

Hieb was traveling northbound on Slanting Bridge Road at 6:43 p.m. Tuesday when he crossed the center line and sideswiped a Dodge pickup truck driven by Mario Cambronero. Hieb's 1999 Chevrolet pickup truck bounced off Cambronero's vehicle and went back into the northbound lane.

Damage to Hieb's front left tire, however, made Hieb immediately cross the center line again, causing him to collide with a 2003 Mercury sedan driven by Campbell. Her 26-year-old son, Darren Moore, 26, of Denver, was sitting in the front passenger seat.

Trouille said Hieb's pickup truck hit Campbell's vehicle at an angle, causing the driver's side of the car to sustain the greatest impact. Hieb's truck overturned several times from the force of the collision before it came to rest upside down on the left side of the roadway. Hieb was pinned in his vehicle, and suffered minor injuries in the crash.

Speed also appears to be a factor in the crash. Trouille said Hieb was "definitely going faster" than the posted 45-mph speed limit on Slanting Bridge Road.

Sherrills Ford-Terrell Fire and Rescue Chief Keith Bost said damage to Campbell's vehicle was some of the worst he's seen in his career.

"They way the actual car was ripped off, it was like a hot knife went through butter," he said.

Campbell's son sustained only minor injuries and declined medical treatment on the scene.

"He's very lucky," Trouille said. "The car was extremely damaged."

Both Campbell and Hieb's vehicles were totaled in the crash. Cambronero's vehicle sustained only minor damage, and he wasn't injured.

Trouille said preliminary investigations determined everyone involved in the crash was wearing a seat belt.

The Highway Patrol's investigation into the collision is ongoing, and more charges are possible in the incident.