Crime & Courts

Matthews man faces DWI charges in Idlewild Rd. wrecks

A Matthews man faces DWI charges in connection with a series of four wrecks Tuesday evening on Idlewild Road, police say.

Justin Reid Lawing, 29, the driver who police said was responsible for hitting the other vehicles and damaging residents’ property, was hospitalized. So was another driver.

The wrecks took place about 6:15 p.m. on a section of Idlewild Road near Mint Hill Middle School, between Margaret Wallace Road and Rice Road.

According to police reports, events started when Lawing, driving a 2003 Audi, struck a 1999 Lincoln driven by a 62-year-old man. The driver of the Lincoln said he was stopped in traffic on the approach to Matthews-Mint Hill Road when he was hit from behind.

The Lincoln driver said the Audi driver then turned around and headed westbound on Idlewild Road.

Over the next few minutes, police said, the Audi struck two other vehicles before the final crash near Plentywood Drive, across from Mint Hill Middle. Several residents said their mailboxes were damaged by the driver during the series of events.

According to police, Lawing apparently lost control of the vehicle and went across the center line on a curve. He crashed head-on into a 2005 Honda driven by a 45-year-old Matthews woman.

Police said Lawing’s Audi spun around 180 degrees and skidded 50 feet before coming to rest on a sidewalk. The Honda was flipped into the air and sailed nearly 60 feet before landing on its roof.

The driver of the Honda, identified as Mary Lau Thefaine, was airlifted by a MedCenter helicopter to Carolinas Medical Center. Lawing was taken by ambulance to CMC. Both suffered serious injuries, police said.

Mecklenburg County jail records show Lawing had been arrested in March on a marijuana charge.