Store clerk charged in connection to weekend wreck


By Chris Day
Multimedia Editor

Saturday, August 24, 2019

A convenience store clerk has been charged with selling alcohol to someone under the legal age in connection with a single-vehicle wreck in Camden County.

Meanwhile, the teen driver of the vehicle is facing several alcohol-related charges, plus two felony counts of serious injury by motor vehicle, in addition to driving while impaired, exceeding a safe speed and driving left of the center line.

Robin Turner, 53, of Elizabeth City, has been charged with selling alcohol to someone under 21, according to a press release issued Thursday by N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement, a division of the State Bureau of Investigation.

Turner is suspected of selling alcohol to the 17-year-old driver of a pickup truck involved in a wreck Saturday, Aug. 17, on Country Club Road. State Highway Patrol officers investigating the accident notified ALE after they discovered the driver was underage and had alcohol in his system, the release states.

During their investigation, ALE special agents determined that the driver was able to buy alcohol from the store clerk, who at the time was Turner, at the Park N Shop No. 16 convenience store, also known as Olivet Lakes Mini Mart, the release states.

According to a copy of the Highway Patrol’s initial vehicle accident report, the Aug. 17 accident occurred shortly after 5 p.m. when a 2007 GMC pickup with four occupants ran off the road, overturned and came to a stop in a yard at 292 Country Club Road.

The report, which is posted online at the N.C. Department of Public Safety, identifies the driver as Tucker William Oliver, of Elizabeth City, but does not list his age.

The report also states that Oliver was charged with driving while impaired, exceeding a safe speed and driving left of the center line. The report also identifies three passengers in the vehicle at the time of the accident, but it does not include their ages. The passengers were Macy Ellen Smith and Mallory Paige Smith, and Casey Redd, all of whom live in Elizabeth City.

An initial news report stated that all four occupants were transported to a hospital for treatment. However, according to ALE only the Smiths were hospitalized. The other two occupants were treated at the scene.

Oliver, who is 17, according to ALE’s press release, was charged by the agency with purchasing alcohol underage, giving alcohol to two underage people, and two counts of aiding and abetting an underage person in obtaining alcohol. Because of the severity of the injuries to the two hospitalized passengers, the Highway Patrol also charged Oliver with two counts of felony serious injury by vehicle, the release states.

The initial Highway Patrol report does not list the two felony charges, nor does it include other charges that the ALE news release cites. Those charges include illegal window tinting, failure to wear a seatbelt and possession of an open container of alcohol.

The Highway Patrol confirmed the two felony charges on Friday.

“ALE partners with (State Highway Patrol) on cases like this involving underage impaired drivers where a serious injury or fatality occurs,” said Eric Swain, ALE special agent in charge of the Northeastern District. “Our priority is to identify locations where an underage person can obtain alcohol, and hold them accountable. ALE and (the Highway Patrol’s) partnership is crucial to the safety of our North Carolina residents.”

Oliver is scheduled for a court appearance on Sept. 23 in Camden County District Court, according to ALE. A report of the violation for Park N Shop No. 16 will be submitted to the ABC Commission, which could result in fines, suspension or revocation of the store’s permits, the news release states.