NC officers under investigation for letting suspected drunken driver go free

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers are under internal investigation, WSOC reports.

In May, police responded to a minor crash in University City where they found Brian Douglas Wood intoxicated. Police did not arrest him.

An hour later, Wood was hit and killed.

Wood’s sister is still overcome with grief and wants answers.

“He died by himself and alone,” Mary Alice Rakestraw said.

This crash was her brother’s first encounter with police that night.

About an hour earlier, Wood was driving and rear-ended another car.

“Maybe if he was intoxicated and they would have taken him in, it could have saved his life,” Rakestraw said.

Deputy chief Coerte Voohees said officers gave Wood a breathalyzer test at the first scene.

Internal affairs is investigating to determine if the officers violated CMPD policies by letting Wood walk free.

“The fact that there was a man who lost his life and we had interacted with him, it’s a tragedy,” Voorhees said

It’s a tragedy his heartbroken sister is still struggling to cope with.

“He was obviously in trouble at the fender bender,” Rakestraw said. “And he could have used some help.”

Officer Emily Kellner is listed as the reporting officer at the first crash.

Sources said Kellner is one of two officers under internal investigation.

CMPD would not release the other officer’s name.

Depending on what the internal investigation finds, consequences could vary from no disciplinary action to more training to termination.

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