LUMBERTON — A St. Pauls convenience store employee and a minor have been charged in connection with an accident that killed a St. Pauls high school student earlier this month.
The charges come nearly three weeks after the single-vehicle crash that claimed the life of Bethany Kinlaw, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, according to State Highway Patrol.
“SHP contacted ALE after alcoholic beverages were found inside the vehicle the night of the crash,” according to a press release from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety on Thursday.
Ameer Mohamed Sal Alhobishi, 19, a store clerk at Happy Mart #5, St. Pauls, was charged with selling malt beverages to an underage person, selling tobacco to an underage person, aided and abetted a minor, of having contributed to the delinquency of a minor. and allowing illegal conduct on ABC-licensed premises, according to the statement.
“The store licensee and the company have also been criminally charged,” the statement said.
The 17-year-old was Kinlaw’s classmate, officials said.
The teen was found with a handgun, drug paraphernalia and marijuana, the statement said.
The man, whose name has not been released due to his age, admitted to having the gun at school, buying the booze from the store and selling it to the driver, the statement said.
A juvenile motion was filed for criminal possession of a handgun by a minor on school property, aggravated possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of liquor by a minor, aiding and complicity with a minor and sale of alcoholic beverages without a permit.
Special agents will submit a report to the ABC Commission documenting the findings of the investigation. The ABC Commission may choose to sanction Happy Mart #5 with fines, suspension or revocation of the company’s ABC licenses, according to the statement.
NCSHP responded at around 9:33 p.m. May 7 to the crash on Barker Ten Mile Road, about 2.3 miles north of Lumberton, according to Sgt. HP Locklear of the State Highway Patrol.
Kinlaw died after the 2021 Dodge passenger car she was driving left the road to the right and collided with a ditch and a driveway culvert, Locklear said. She was not wearing a seat belt and was trapped in the vehicle.
According to the preliminary report, no road condition was listed as a contributing factor to the crash, he said. Speed is considered a factor in the accident.
Kinlaw was going about 70 mph in a 55 mph zone, Locklear said.