Austin, TX (Law Wire News) January 16, 2014
In a story out of North Carolina that made national headlines first for the outrage that a driver could put his family in danger through careless choices and then quickly turned to an outpouring of sympathy for a father whose actions had been misunderstood, Alex Hooper was initially charged in police reports with texting while driving during a head-on collision that killed his 13-month-old daughter and critically injured his wife.
Hooper was driving his family home from a holiday get together when his car crossed the center line and collided head on with an oncoming car. The Wadesboro Police Department asserted that Hooper sent the text message "Merry Christmas" just before the accident. Further investigation revealed that Hooper had received a message, not sent one, and there was not even any evidence that he had opened the message to read it ("Police clear father of texting and driving in wreck that killed daughter," WCTI12.com, January 7, 2014). Instead, he now only faces charges of moving left of center ("Father charged in wreck that killed daughter," Gaston Gazette, January 7, 2014).