The North Carolina Highway Patrol said that a Sanford police officer has formally been charged with causing a wreck in which one man suffered fatal personal injuries.


One week after the January 21 accident in which 61-year-old Sanford resident William Thomas was killed, Capt. Reginald Petty was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and failure to reduce speed.


Troopers said that Petty was not on duty at the time and was southbound on Horner Boulevard at around 8 a.m. when the Cadillac he was driving rear-ended the Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck Thomas was driving, which had slowed to make a left turn. The impact forced the truck into the northbound lane, where it collided with a Toyota sport utility vehicle.


Thomas was pronounced dead en route to Central Carolina Hospital. Petty received treatment for non-life threatening injuries at the hospital. The SUV’s driver was unharmed.


Troopers do not believe drugs and alcohol to have been factors.

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