Police: Drunk driver charged after two killed in fiery Surf City crash

James Thomason (Photo obtained by affiliate WWAY)

A Topsail Beach man is charged with driving drunk, crashing and killing two people in Surf City Sunday night.

At approximately 10:32 p.m. the Surf City Police Department, Surf City Fire Department and North Carolina Highway Patrol responded to the 1600 block of North New River Dr.

Authorities had received reports of a "traffic crash with injuries."

Witnesses told officers someone, later identified as 23-year-old James Coleman Thomason was driving a vehicle heading south was traveling at a high speed when they collided with a second vehicle, also traveling in the same direction.

When the two collided, the second vehicle drove off the road, overturned and then caught fire.

Thomason was transported from the scene to New Hanover Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.

Thomason was charged with the following Monday morning:

  • DWI
  • Open container
  • Improper passing
  • Careless and reckless
  • Driving left of the center line
  • Exceeding posted speed
  • Failure to reduce speed
  • Two counts of felony death by motor vehicle

He was given a $100,000 secured bond and he is due in Pender County court on Tuesday.

Both the driver and passenger in the second vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene. Their identities are being withheld until next of kin can be notified.

The Surf City Police Department and North Carolina Highway Patrol are continuing the investigation.

Anyone who witnessed the crash or who may have further information is asked to call the Surf City Police Department at (910) 328-7711.

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