WADESBORO, ANSON COUNTY - Police said they were wrong to accuse a North Carolina man of texting while driving in a wreck that killed his 13-month-old daughter on Christmas Day.
According to Wadesboro Police Chief Thedis Spencer, further investigation revealed that Alex Hooper did not send out a text at the time of the wreck on Highway 74 in Wadesboro, about 50 miles southeast of Charlotte. Instead, Hooper only received a text from another phone at the time of the crash, police revised.
Chief Spencer told WSOC there is no evidence that Hooper even opened the text message he received. Family members also said that Hooper never opened the message. As a result, his initial charge of driving while texting has been thrown out, police said.
Police had originally accused Hooper of texting "Merry Christmas" just before his Volkswagen Jetta crashed head-on into a Dodge Intrepid on Dec. 25.
The wreck killed Hooper's 13-month-old daughter, Lexi, and critically injured his wife, Kelsey, who was sleeping in the car, police told WSOC. Kelsey is now recovering at home.
Although Hooper has been cleared of the texting while driving charge, he will still be cited with driving left of center, investigators said.
The Hoopers were returning to their home in Gaston County from a family get-together in Richmond County when the wreck happened.
According to investigators, a husband and wife in the other vehicle were also seriously injured. At last check, the husband had been released from the hospital.
Police said both drivers tested negative of any impairing substance, and that speed was not a factor.
For more information, visit WSOC.