No charges filed in fatal deputy-involved crash in Catawba County

No charges filed in fatal deputy-involved crash in Catawba County
One person was killed and a deputy was injured in a crash in Hickory Wednesday morning. (Taylor Simpson)

HICKORY, NC (WBTV) - Officials say no charges will be filed in a crash that left on person dead and injured a deputy in Catawba County in February.

The wreck happened around 1 a.m. on McDonald Parkway at 12th Ave Drive NE, closing the area for a time. Troopers say 27-year-old Hernan Cortez was driving a 2003 Honda Civic when Cortez collided with the deputy’s vehicle, a Chevrolet Tahoe, at the intersection. The Honda ran off the roadway and hit a fence.

Cotez was pronounced dead on scene.

The patrol vehicle came to a rest on McDonald Parkway, officials say. The deputy was taken to Catawba Valley Medical Center and released.

The deputy’s patrol car was not equipped with a dash or body camera and there were no cameras covering the intersection, according to a release from North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Officials say they were unable to locate any private recordings during a canvass of the area.

Cortez’s vehicle was traveling 65 mph prior to the crash and during the impact in a 45 mph speed limit zone. The deputy was traveling 62 mph before the crash and 45 mph at the time of the crash. Officials say the deputy was in 50 mph speed limit zone.

Test results indicated Cortez had a .18 alcohol concentration level at the time of the crash. Test results for the deputy revealed no alcohol, officials say.

A detour was put in place until troopers reopened the area about eight hours later.

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