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‘Am I gonna be stuck here?’ says suspected DWI driver accused in fatal collision with daycare van

November 8, 2018

The man suspected of driving the truck that collided head-on into a van in Johnston County and killing the other driver appeared in court Wednesday and asked to be released.

“Am I gonna be stuck here?” said Seth Charles Tracy, 38, of Holly Springs, when the judge asked him about his case.

Tracy remains at the Johnston County Jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.

He asked if he would be released to go find an attorney after the judge advised him of his rights. She said Tracy would be allowed to make a phone call in order to find a lawyer, who could make arrangements for him to be released, provided he can come up with the bail.

Martha Darlene Peterson, 39, of Kenly, was driving the daycare van that was struck shortly after 4 p.m.

Video from the scene showed a Bizzy Bee Plumbing truck and a daycare van from Kids County of Clayton that collided head-on on Barber Mill Road.

Moments before the crash, a number of drivers called 911 to report a truck they said was swerving toward Cleveland Road.

“Oh, he just about got a school bus right there, oh lord, he’s about to nail one,” one caller said. “We have a wreck. Head on. Head on.”

Peterson was killed and at least five others, including several children, were injured during the incident.

“Bless the children. They were scared and started crying so I took them and hugged them. Then I walked across to my house and put them on the porch until EMS came and got them,” said Donna Coates, who witnessed the crash.

Authorities said the crash occurred when the plumbing truck, driven by Tracy, crossed the center line.

Tracy was arrested at the scene and charged with felony death by motor vehicle and driving while impaired.

The judge said the maximum amount of time in prison for the charge ranges from 13 to 16 years.

During the hearing, Tracy said he was in a methadone treatment program and he takes medication every day.

“Can I get my bail lowered so I can get out and not get sick?” he asked the judge, who replied that he would direct the sheriff to allow Tracy to make a phone call to “hire an attorney promptly.”

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