Deputy cleared of death by motor vehicle charge

On the first day on the job, investigators say 23-year-old Brunswick County Sheriffs Deputy Gary Woodard apparently drove through a red light on Highway 87 in Elizabethtown. Woodard was driving a Dodge Durango with two other deputies as passengers. He crashed into a car driven by 63-year-old Delano Bobbett of Bladenboro. Bobbett died at the scene. His granddaughter, who was also in the car, was hospitalized.

Now, Brunswick County prosecutors say the crash that Woodard caused was an accident. There's no evidence Woodard was driving carelessly, which would have resulted in a death by motor vehicle charge. So, he'll be charged only with running a red light. Prosecutors say the fact that Woodard is a deputy didn't influence their decision.  A decision prosecutors say Bobbett's family is comfortable with. Despite being okay with the outcome, the family has hired attorney Dan Blue out of Raleigh. They are now considering filing a civil lawsuit. Woodard is still an active employee at the department.

Reported By: Brandi Davis