by Sam Hieb
Winston-Salem Journal reports the ongoing legal dispute between former state Rep. Larry Womble and the downtown restaurant Sixth and Vine has been resolved. The suit was filed following a 2011 head-on crash in which Womble was seriously injured and Winston-Salem resident David Carmichael was killed:
Womble was initially charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in the Dec. 2, 2011, accident, with police alleging that Womble crossed the center line on Reynolds Park Road and crashed into the car driven by Carmichael, 54. But Steven M. Arbogast, a state prosecutor with the
N.C. Attorney General’s Office, voluntarily dismissed the charge after further investigation, including an accident reconstruction, indicated that it was Carmichael’s car that crossed the center line.
Womble alleged in the lawsuit that Carmichael had consumed a large amount of alcohol at Sixth & Vine on the night of the accident and left the restaurant “in an extremely intoxicated condition.” Just after 11 p.m., Carmichael got in his car and started driving home. While in the eastbound lane in the 2600 block of Reynolds Park Road, Carmichael crossed the center line and collided head-on with Womble’s car in the westbound lane.
According to the lawsuit, toxicology reports showed that Carmichael had a blood-alcohol level of 0.29 percent, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent. The lawsuit said that Carmichael had three separate receipts from Sixth & Vine in his pockets, all dated Dec. 2, 2011, with the last receipt issued to Carmichael about 20 minutes before the accident.
Sixth and Vine maintained that Carmichael did not purchase alcohol while he was there and that the receipts found in his pocket prove that. But the terms of the voluntary dismissal with prejudice are confidential, according to Womble’s attorneys, so we may never know the real story.