Man gets probation for fatal wreck

Jeremy Basnight.jpg

Jeremy Basnight


By William F. West
Staff Writer

Monday, August 14, 2017

CURRITUCK – A Currituck County man is serving two years of probation after pleading guilty earlier this year to causing the traffic accident that claimed the life of a Camden County woman in Shawboro last year, court records show.

Jeremy Basnight, 28, of the 100 block of Chatman Etheridge Road, was sentenced to two years of probation by District Court Judge Charles Vincent after pleading guilty on Jan. 23 to misdemeanor death by vehicle. Basnight had been charged in connection with the traffic-related death of Pamela Nichols, a 60-year-old retired educator.

Vincent sentenced Basnight to a 60-day jail sentence, but suspended the sentence and ordered him to serve two years of probation instead.

According to the N.C. Highway Patrol, Basnight was driving on N.C. Highway 34 the morning of May 19, 2016, when his vehicle collided with a vehicle driven by Nichols’ husband, Johnny Nichols, that was headed the opposite direction. The collision happened near N.C. 34’s intersection with Snowden Road, just southwest of Shawboro Elementary School.

Pamela Nichols, who was a passenger in the car driven by her husband, was transported by helicopter to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia, where she died the following morning from her injuries. Johnny Nichols was treated for his injuries at Sentara Norfolk and released.

The patrol’s investigation of the accident revealed Basnight had been looking at a music app on his cellphone when he lost control of his vehicle and it crossed the center line, colliding with the Nichols’ car.

The patrol’s investigation also found that Basnight had been driving while his license was revoked, driving with an altered registration and driving without insurance. He was subsequently charged with each of those offenses.

The District Attorney’s Office, in its plea agreement with Basnight, dropped those charges in exchange for his guilty plea to the misdemeanor death by vehicle charge.

District Attorney Andrew Womble declined comment about the plea agreement when asked about it recently.

Basnight was represented by defense attorney Keith Teague, who could not be reached for comment.

Under the terms of his probation, Basnight is prohibited from operating a vehicle or being in a vehicle with a cellphone. Basnight’s driver’s license is currently being held by the Currituck Superior Court Clerk’s Office.