Police have charged a 19-year-old man in a crash in which his friend suffered fatal personal injuries on January 23 on Murrayville Road in Wilmington, according to a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper.


On January 25, charges were filed against 19-year-old Travis A. Middaugh in connection to the crash in which his friend, 20-year-old John Edward Rossi, was killed, according to Trooper B.R. Phillips. Middaugh has been charged with felony death by motor vehicle, DWI, provisional DWI, reckless driving to endanger, driving left of center, and possession of an open container. The provisional DWI charge was due to Middaugh being under the legal drinking age of 21.


Phillips said Middaugh was place in New Hanover County jail and held on a $250,000 secure bond.


Phillips said that shortly before 1 a.m. on the day of the crash, Rossi was a front seat passenger in a 2002 Toyota pickup driven by Middaugh. The truck was eastbound on Murrayville Road when it crossed the center line, jerked back across to the left side of the road, crossed the center line again, ran off the road, went through a ditch, and hit four trees.


According to Phillips, Middaugh was traveling at an estimated speed of 80 mph in a 45 mph zone and had been drinking.


According to Highway Patrol Sgt. C.W. Parks, the felony death by motor vehicle charge was due to alcohol being a factor.

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