UPDATE: Driver charged with death by motor vehicle, DWI in deadly crash

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Submitted: Fri, 12/13/2013 - 1:06pm
Updated: Wed, 02/05/2014 - 6:32pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A man who was driving during a crash that killed his passenger and hurt several others last night now faces charges for the death.

The two-car crash happened at the intersection of Carolina Beach Rd. and Independence Blvd. around 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Police say a Jeep trying to pull into the Food Lion parking lot there turned in front of a Chevy Blazer, which flipped over.

Police say the front-seat passenger in the Blazer, John A. Jackson Jr., 53, of Wilmington, was killed as a result of his injuries from the crash. WPD Spokeswoman Linda Rawley said firefighters had to forcefully remove several passengers from one vehicle.

Police say the Blazer’s driver Mark William Neil Estep, 39, of Wilmington, is charged with felony death by motor vehicle, DWI and failure to yield the right of way. Estep is in the New Hanover County Jail under a $30,000 bond. His first court appearance is slated for this afternoon.

Editor’s Note: Wilmington Police originally provided a description of the vehicles that was not accurate. Based on comments posted on this story regarding the vehicles, WWAY informed a WPD spokeswoman of the issue and updated the information with her confirmation of the correct descriptions.


  • Guest-o-matic says:

    Driving intoxicated alters ones ability to make good judgment, react properly in an emergency and otherwise operate a vehicle in a safe manner. That’s why it’s illegal and that’s also why it’s deadly.

    Next question?

  • quest23254 says:

    your dad is alive……….someone else is planning a funeral for theirs.something has got to be done to keep people from driving drunk. please just stay where you are, call a cab, call a friend, call a family member…………someone, even a cop, would give you a ride home, rather than risk you killing an innocent person who had the misfortune to be heading home from work. it is just senseless and sad

  • Danielle says:

    I see both sides. The man that was driving was drunk.. and the man that died got in the car with the man that was driving drunk. Theres always two sides to every story. Bless this world! Prayers to the family.

  • Marquez says:

    This sucks all around. Mark wakes up with a .04. Can’t bring back John though.

  • burgerboy says:

    That old man didn’t do nothin wrong, there’s no law against havin a lil drink to relax, no matter what moohamad obomo says, and everyone is innocent until proven gulity, unlike what some people on here say, so for the time being his is innocent, and all you liberals get on here and rant and rave abot how people should help the poors, well this fella looks like he’s disadvantaged and has problems, why dont them libbers go help him, I think he’s a good boy and he didn’t do nothin wrong, and i pray to moohambo that he gets found innicent, if he was colored then them black caucaus people would come help him but he’s a poor white man so he has to do it all on his own, god bless you my friend

  • vdbyrd says:

    You are truly an IGNORANT individual. There is EVERYTHING wrong with someone drinking and driving…regardless of their race or political status. He was proven guilty, otherwise he wouldn’t have been arrested. Does everything have to end with a racist comment? Since you are so concerned why don’t you as the “Conservative Jerk” go help since you don’t think a little drink doesn’t hurt anyone. That little drink killed his friend and has affected MANY LIVES due to his bad decisions. Since you know so F*&^ING much, why don’t you dig into your “Conservative pocket” and pay for the deceased man’s funeral, or send his kids to college? YOU’RE A CONSERVATIVE IDIOT

  • Justice For All says:

    The article here is partially true. I hope the police report is more accurate. Mr. Estep was driving the Chevy Blazer headed toward Carolina Beach Rd, on Independence Blvd. The Green Jeep was headed the opposite direction, toward Shipyard, on Independence Blvd. The Green Jeep was traveling in left lane when Mr. Estep’s Blazer attempted to turn into Food Lion parking lot. The Green Jeep T-boned the Chevy Blazer going full speed.

  • Guest2344 says:

    The accident report is out, and explains everything clearly.
    Go to http://p2c.wilmingtonnc.gov/AccidentDetail.aspx and put mark estep in for first and last to read for yourself, but here’s the text:

    *** Mark Estep is unit 1, the other driver is unit 2. ***

    Investigation revealed Unit 1 was failed to yield right of way while turning left into a public driveway and pulled in the path of Unit 2, causing the collision.

    The listed witnesses said that Unit 2 was traveling East on Independence Blvd when Unit 1 turned right in front of him. They both stated Unit 2 had no opportunity to avoid the collision.
    Driver 2 said he was traveling East on Independence Blvd when Unit 1 pulled in front of him.

    Driver 2 said he did not have time to react or avoid the collision and he struck Unit 1 in the passenger door.

    Driver 1 said he was turning into the PVA of the shopping center and thought he had plenty of time. He entered the intersection and was struck by Unit 2.

    The collision caused Unit 1 to overturn onto its driver`s (left) side and caused the death of the passenger.

    Driver 1 was suspected of DWI and arrested for same.

  • guesty says:

    …by driving drunk.

  • Tracie C says:

    While I find drinking & driving do be a selfish, disgusting move – I saw this accident right after it happened.
    I’m not understanding this: if the Jeep was trying to turn into the parking lot and the Blazer was travelling on Independence Blvd (which is what it looked like in passing the accident) how is the occurrence of the accident as listed in the story above Mr. Estep’s fault?
    Shouldn’t the driver travelling on the main road have the right of way? To turn in to that particular Food Lion, you either make a right off of Independence Blvd, which doesn’t leave any traffic to cross in front of OR you’re making that totally dangerous left turn off of Independence Blvd. In that left turn wouldn’t the oncoming, straightaway traffic have the right of way over someone making said left?
    It just doesn’t make sense in the realm of accountability.
    YES – prosecute him for DWI but, unless I’m not seeing something correctly (and I’m not an investigator), it would be pretty terrible for this person to be charged for a death in an accident he didn’t cause.

  • What says:

    Yes, you are correct, cases do get continued on and on, but he said got and called from jail a year ago. That’s quite different than convicted.

  • Jeannie says:

    The jeep pulled out in front of mark. Why is he getting charged with failure to yield the right of way. I’ve lived in Wilmington my whole life. There is no light to the food lion. Just because he messed up in the past does not mean it should be held against him now. The death of marks friend was caused because the jeep pulled out in front of him. All the time I’ve lived here the people going straight have the right of way not the people turning into food lion c

  • guest1221 says:

    Your dad was drunk, so, no, he isn’t innocent.

  • guesty says:

    You father has a criminal history including drugs, hit & run along with other driving charges.

  • What says:

    Say what? “my son got a DUI about a year ago.” then, ” My son is now 2 years clean and sober.” How are you clean and sober for 2 years if you got a DUI a year ago? Seems to me you need to retake a math class.

  • craig says:

    Johnathon: It seems to me your dad needs rehab or money for a cab. Either way he should not drink and drive. BTW: my son got a DUI about a year ago. He called me from jail to come get him. It was late so I hung up the phone and rolled over to go back to sleep. I hated it for him but my son has to live with his choices. My son is now 2 years clean and sober. I am proud.

  • kzpony says:

    Read the story again son. Your dad was driving while impaired and made a bad decision which cost a man his life.

    Those are facts. I didn’t make this stuff up.

  • Samantha says:

    ACTUALLY your dad isn’t innocent because whether it was his fault or not, he is still charged with a DWI. Clearly he was in the wrong too. And it just so happened that John got the worst of it. And it could have possibly been avoided had your dad NOT been under the influence.

  • Guest4396 says:

    Yes, a drunk driver who kills somebody is innocent………as sin. The story does not clarify what happened very well, but I assume the Jeep turned on a green arrow and the drunk plowed into him. Don’t know…hope WWAY will report more details. As for the person killed, So sorry for him and his family, but to get into a vehicle with a drunk driver certainly deminishes some of the sympathy others might feel.

  • guest123 says:

    No matter who’s father, son, whatever he may be or even if the other car may or may not have turned in front of him He is guilty of a crime. He made the choice to break the law by driving drunk. You should know by now drunk driving is a choice NOT an accident.
    He killed a person with his poor choice of actions now he will pay the price. Be sure while feeling sorry for him you mail canteen money in the years to come, perhaps he can get a sugar high in there.

    The other man’s family are planning a funeral. My condolences to them!

  • SADDENED says:

    Johnathan, your father was guilty and caused the death of a man. He was driving a vehicle while impaired which resulted in an accident.I am quite sure this is not the first time he has been driving under the influence. The average drunk driver drives 80 times before being in a wreck or caught. Its just sad this time he killed someone before the police caught him. Learn something from your old man Johnathan. Quit being the victim in life and blaming others, get a job and an education, and stay away from risky behavior. Or you too will end up where he is. I laugh at you saying he is “inocent”. By the way its spelled innocent and he aint!

  • Nicole says:

    How can you say your dad is innocent where or not he was at fault he was driving drunk. sometimes I wonder how anyone could get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking

  • taxpayer says:

    Maybe the ticket was written two years ago and convicted a year ago. With a good attorney, DUI court cases seem to get continued…and continued…and continued.

  • Nate says:

    My GREEN JEEP was headed toward Shipyard Blvd on Independence. Mr. Estep’s WHITE CHEVY BLAZER was headed in the opposite direction toward Carolina Beach Rd on Independence. When Mr. Estep turned left (trying to go to Food Lion) I was driving straight, with no time to swerve nor hit the brakes, he pulled out in front of me. My GREEN JEEP hit Estep’s WHITE BLAZER in the passenger door.

    Prayers go out to Mr. Jackson’s family.

  • guest1221 says:

    It states the Jeep turned in front of the Blazer, which would mean the JEEP failed to yield right of way…so, how is it that the Blazer driver was charged with FTYROW?????

  • Guest-of-the-day says:

    Still no charges in either of those deaths, or is it ALWAYS THE PEDESTRIAN’S FAULT in NC? How convenient for the self absorbed motorists around here!

  • guest123 says:

    This is happening more frequently around here. So ,now this drunk has killed someone’s loved one right before Christmas. I wonder how many previous charges of drunk driving this man has had. Yeah, I could look it up but what’s the point? Around here the courts keep letting the drunk drivers out UNTIL they kill our loved ones. At that point, what difference does it make how many previous they have had? They have murdered someone. That person will never come back. I say treat them as any other murderers and throw the losers in prison for life.

  • kzpony says:

    The story makes it seem like a one car accident. “the driver of a green Explorer was headed east on Independence Blvd towards Shipyard Blvd. when a white Jeep turned in front of the Explorer and flipped over”. Did the SUV hit the jeep and then it

    I travel this area a lot and constantly see people driving their cars so recklessly…jumping out into heavy traffic, cutting across lanes, making left turns and gunning it to try to get across with not a second to spare. People need to use common sense in driving, take their time and make good decisions. Being in a hurry, distracted by so many things, can lead to the death of someone else, or of someone in your own car. Mr. Estes will have to live with the results of his actions for the rest of his life. I hope it haunts him, and I hope he never gets behind the wheel again.

  • Samantha says:

    John was my mom’s significant other when she passed away. It’s hard to believe he is gone now too, thanks to Mr. Estep. I also hope he never will be allowed to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. If so, karma will get him back.

  • johnathan estep says:

    Hey you that’s my dad you are talking about and acctually it wasn’t his fault the car pulled out in front of him so acctually my dad is inocent

  • Elaine says:

    DON’T ever get into a car with a driver who’s been drinking.

  • Guesteasy says:


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