Trooper: Driver in wreck that killed 14-year-old was impaired

Feb. 18, 2013 @ 08:53 PM

A North Davidson Middle School student was killed in a head-on collision Sunday that troopers suspect involved an impaired driver.

According to reports by the N.C. Highway Patrol, Phillip Robert Eisenman IV, 22, of Lexington, failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with the Dodge that Katilyn Dawn Combs was a passenger in. “Eisenman, which we suspect of impairment, pulled out in front of the 1999 Dodge and they collided,” said Trooper Nathan Varney.
Combs, 14, was in the Dodge with Mark Vestal and his 12-year-old son, Brandon Wayne Vestal, when the crash happened on Welcome-Bethesda Lane. No one in either vehicle was wearing a seat belt, according to the trooper’s report.
“That is one of the contributing circumstances to her losing her life,” Varney said. “The impairment is one circumstance but not wearing seat belts is another. I honestly think that if she had her seat belt on, she would not have died. That is my belief.”
Everyone in the crash was transported to Wake Forest Medical Center with serious injuries. Combs later died there.
Varney said that highway patrol is still investigating the crash and has charged Eisenman with driving while impaired. “We have actually taken blood and all that is pending,” Varney said.

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