BEAUFORT — District Attorney Scott Thomas announced Wednesday his office has charged Leighman Joel Hardesty, 26, of Beaufort, with aggravated felony death by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter.

The charges stem from a Jan. 22 wreck that resulted in the death of Floyd Woolbright, 50, of Havelock.

On Jan. 22, at approximately 12:15 p.m., Mr. Hardesty was driving west on Highway 101 near Old Winberry Road in a Silverado pickup truck and crossed the center line, causing a head-on collision with a Toyota FJ Cruiser driven Mr. Woolbright.

Mr. Woolbright died at the scene and Mr. Hardesty was airlifted to Vidant Health in Greenville with serious injuries.

The investigation by the State Highway Patrol revealed Mr. Hardesty was operating his vehicle in a reckless manner and speeding at the time of the collision. Further investigation revealed Mr. Hardesty was operating the vehicle under the influence.

“Hardesty was arrested upon his release from Vidant (Health).,” Mr. Thomas said in the release.

Mr. Hardesty's first appearance in district court was Wednesday.

“The judge set his bond at $500,000 secured, with electronic monitoring and, if he makes bond, a curfew of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. In addition, he is ordered not to use or possess alcohol or any controlled substance, and not to operate a motor vehicle,” Mr. Thomas continued.

Mr. Hardesty is next due in court Friday, March 6.

(1) comment


Another alcohol/vehicle death. Why must we have alcohol to drink?

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