CATAWBA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A Catawba County man was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in a crash that killed a pastor in 2016.
Zachariah Arthur Carl, 32, was charged with second-degree murder in the crash that killed 43-year-old Michael Howard Vanderburg the night of Dec. 16, 2016.
Troopers say Carl ran a red light on Highway 70 near Conover and struck a minivan, killing Vanderburg. Vanderburg's three children, ages 13, 11 and 7 at the time, were also in the van. They went to the hospital to be treated.
"This is one of the most tragic and senseless deaths I've ever seen. That's the reason for the judgment," said Judge Hayes, who also required that Carl keep a picture of Vanderburg with him while he serves his prison sentence.
In addition to second-degree murder, Carl pleaded guilty to driving while impaired, possession of an open container and driving with license revoked. His license was revoked due to impaired driving.
Carl will serve his term at the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.
Vanderburg led Abundant Life Church of God in Hudson, North Carolina.