Former NASCAR pit crew chief Tim Kohuth was jailed this morning and charged in connection with a fatal wreck Thursday in Iredell County that left one man dead and a woman hospitalized.
The wreck killed Wesley Worden. His wife, Gail Worden, is hospitalized in stable condition at Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.
Kohuth, who has a history of drunken driving, was released from an Iredell County hospital Friday morning and immediately taken to a Statesville jail, where he was charged with second-degree murder. He is being held on $500,000 bond.
N.C. Highway Patrol troopers told WCNC-TV, the Observer's news partner, that they believe Kohuth was intoxicated again Thursday when a flatbed tow truck he was driving collided with an SUV on Brawley School Road at Mallard Way.
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When asked if he believed Kohuth's blood alcohol was over the legal limit, Trooper David Reed responded, "Absolutely."
According to a criminal record check, Kohuth was convicted of three driving-while-impaired offenses in a 15-month period -- two in a vehicle, one in a boat.
After the first, a DWI in Iredell in March 2006, a judge ordered him to complete alcohol treatment, surrender his license and not commit a similar offense. Kohuth was convicted of a second DWI offense seven months later. And he was convicted of the boating offense less than a year after that.
WCNC is reporting that Kohuth's personal vehicle was equipped with a breathalyzer machine that would prevent him from starting the SUV if he had been drinking.
Kohuth was once a crew chief in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Now he operates a Mooresville-based vintage car restoration business.
Staff Writer Joe Marusak and WCNC-TV contributed.