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Man killed, cousin injured by alleged drunk driver

READ MORE: Man killed, cousin injured by alleged drunk driver

One man is dead and another recovering after being hit by an alleged drunk driver over the weekend. It happened in a trailer park off NC 904 near Ramsey Ford Road in Columbus County.

Margarito Aguirre can barely move off his couch. He's suffering face trauma, broken bones and the loss of his cousin, Miguel Toribio. Aguirre says he and Toribio were in the backyard Saturday afternoon when a ford pick-up hit them and their parked cars.

Highway Patrol says 31-year-old Thomas Paradise was behind the wheel with a blood alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit. Witnesses say Paradise ran over Toribio with his truck dragging Toribio's body into a ditch. The truck finally stopped in a nearby field with three men inside. Neighbors say at first, no one claimed to be the driver, then they tried to hide in the woods, but police found them.

Paradise is charged with second-degree murder. He made his first appearance in court Monday.

Stores in the area are trying to raise money for the family to pay for Toribio's funeral and Aguirre's surgery. Aguirre says he hopes others learn a lesson from this. He says be very careful and don't drink and drive.

A judge set Paradise's bond today at $1 million.

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Wow! I know Thomas

Wow! I know Thomas personally and went to school with him. This doesnt suprise me that he did this and its probably not his first DUI, but on the other hand Thomas can also be a good person he just has a drinking problem. I hope this helps him learn his lesson and he finally after all these years learns from his mistakes. I know his parents didnt raise him this way and I know this is not what they wanted for their son. As for wether or not the victims are legal, who cares they are human and they were killed by a drunk driver.

been on both sides

let me say i have know him for many years and yes people do make the wrong choices and innocent people get hurt by them, but let me also say that before you go start throwing stones at them, Don't pick on people,criticize their faults and failures unless you want the same.A critical spirit has a way of boomeranging.It easy to see smudges on your neighbors face & be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Don't have nerve to say, Let me wash your face,if your own face is dirty. Don't be holier-t...han thou instead Wipe ugly sneer off your face,then you might can offer a washcloth to your neighbor, too many times we kick others when they are down and instead of trying to help them ,we push em farther over the edge. i so hate it for the victim and his family and i am sure it is devastated them, but know also that Thomas has a family also who is grieving as well and feels like they also have faced the death of a son who is now in jail and prob will be there for a long time and also has a good heart who would give you the shirt off his back and do anything for anyone. he has good in him also and i hope now that he will get the help he needs and i know he will never ever be the same, i am sure if he could go back in time he would of made a different decision and you have no idea what all he has been through in his life that led up to this point and if you knew him so well why didn't you offer to get him the help you think he needed. i am not defending what he done, just who i know him to be when alcohol is not involved , and i whole heartedly think people should pay for their actions, but its not up to you or me to decide it is up to someone much higher than we are. and you have no idea how much he is grieving for what he done, and he has to live with it for the rest of his days. and my heart breaks for the ones who lost their loved one and i have been on both sides of this. i too suffered many many years from someone hitting me head on that was dui and drug intoxicated, but i chose to walk in forgiveness and had compassion on the one who caused me to not walk for two years and daily i deal with the pain of legs that are half mine and half rebuilt parts, but do i hate the one who did this to me and my daughter,no i pray for him daily to find help and peace while he is in prison and guess what i found while doing this, i found hope and peace. and i have had another tragedy to happen where an accident on the job that was no way to be avoided caused a love one to kill his best friend and coworker and so i know how awful thomas and his family must feel and also i know how it feels to be the victim, but only time and mercy will heal .

WWAY, and the Columbus

WWAY, and the Columbus County newspaper are the only one’s reporting on this article, why is not the Brunswick Beacon and the Wilmington Star News not reporting on this? What kind of clout does this family have in Brunswick County? Who is Thomas Paradise taht lives in Calabash, NC?

in south brunswick from OIB to calabash

You have East Coast Designated Driver Service.
Keeping the Streets safe.

Is this guy legally in the

Is this guy legally in the USA? Just asking..


Well, that comment was not only irrelevant and unnecessarily cruel, but also very telling. That sort of mentality and utter lack of any sort of empathy is the problem with humanity.

man killed by drunk driver

What is this country coming to? A man is killed, another man critically injured by a drunk driver, and the only thing you are concerned about is if he is in this country legally. Tells me all I need to know about you!Legal or not a 21 year old mans life was cut short due to a LEGAL USA drunk driving citizen.

Drunk driver

In Brunswick county drunks who kill people get off lightly.
Look in yesterdays paper at the drunk driver who killed the southport man when he crossed the center line. Attorney got him off and in this case he is an illegal alien.
I know another man in brunswick county who killed a young mother of 3 and he is still not in jail 9 months later even though indicted for second degree murder!
Go figure. I guess murder is not murder IF you get drunk first??

Who the driver or the victim

I don't know but the driver was definitely legally drunk in USA

Drunk driver

Come on and think about this Guy. It is not his first DUI, but most likely his sixth one. There are devices that the courts can require on a vehicle that prevents it from starting if you are drinking. This Guy should have been put away after the 2nd. DUI.

i live in shallotte, i have

i live in shallotte, i have known the victim for 3 years , he was a great person(21 years old) and he love this country and we have to pay his funeral and send him back to mexico. please dont drink and drive

yeah, but...

I have a family member that had a DUI a few years ago and I can tell you that after paying all of the court costs, lawyer fees and insurance increases... he has had to pay 10 times more than a senator that shot someone in the back. Also, I don't condone drinking and driving by no means, but I would bet money that there are as many accidents caused by sleepy/tired drivers. Why aren't we after these people too? Maybe, just because you get sleepy while driving don't make you a bad person? I wonder how many M.A.D.D. members have dozed off while behind the wheel...even if only for a split second? Let's not forget someone who is prone to have seizures too... are they held liable if they seize while driving to the same level as drunk drivers? Don't forget about Moms and their "pain pills" to help cope with screaming kids all day before getting them off to soccer practice.

My point being... short of hanging anyone caught operating a vehicle while not perfectly awake and aware of surroundings... there is no way to keep people off the road that shouldn't be driving.

apples and oranges

The moms and "pain pills" as you referred to are already covered under the DUI laws. DUI is more than just alcohol impairment. Any substance that impairs your ability to operate a vehicle can get you a DUI. People that have medical issues and have had an accident while driving are subject to a medical review board by the NCDMV. They have to undergo regular checks by their doctor to continue legally driving. You are correct about the amount of wrecks caused by sleepy drivers.

How can you compare drunk

How can you compare drunk driving with epilepsy? That is a completely idiotic statement. If someone has a seizure, it is by no fault of their own. It is a medical condition. Are you saying that just because I have siezures I shouldn't be allowed to drive?

Seizures can be controlled by meds. Mine are and I have been driving for 15 years. Thank God I have not seized while driving. But for you to sit there and make such a remark shows you know nothing about epilepsy.

That man sat there and knowingly drove a vehicle after consuming a lot of alcohol. And as for the ones who fall asleep behind the wheel, they are very much held accountable for their actions, should an accident occur.

I find it disturbing that

I find it disturbing that you could compare a medlical condition to a habitual druck driver who has no regards for the lives he puts in danger when he gets behind the wheel. He been caught 5 times before now. How many time has he done this without getting caught or when he was caught let go because of who he was or who he knows (I know of two). And even now after hiting two men he showed no remorse he ran and hid in the woods. NO AMOUNT OF MONEY CAN REPLACE A LIFE TAKEN BY A DRIVER UNDER INFLUENCE OF ALCHOL OR DRUGS. He deserves jail time and should have to take responsiblity for his actions for once in his life.

Not quite sure how it went,

Not quite sure how it went, but I remember something about a new NC state law that would charge someone with first degree murder if he killed someone while committing the crime of DUI. Also, the reason they let drunks go is the same reason they let drug dealers off easy. Money........fines, court costs, lawyer fees. The mighty dollar is always the bottom line.

Not surprised at all

First, let me say that my condolences goes to the victims and their families. Secondly, when is this nation going to start taking drunk driving more seriously? Why are we so scared of severely punishing these people? Everyday we read stories about innocent people being killed by these irresponsible criminals and yet they keep doing what they do. They get drunk and continue getting behind the wheel. As a result, someone gets killed and families are impacted forever.

But what makes my blood boil is that we later find out that these criminals have a history of driving drunk and yet they are not deterred from doing so whatsoever. They receive a slap on the wrist and they are let go so they can continue to behave irresponsibly. Heck, look at the Mug Shots on the Wilmington Star site and these people don't look upset at all at having been caught drinking and driving. Judging by the smiles on their faces they know that they are going to get a slap on the wrist, pay a small fine, and then released. Most will hire a lawyer to fight it so their insurance won't be as severely impacted.

I would also like to know is why did this drunk driver have two occupants in his truck at the time? Are they stupid, suicidal, or just desperate for a ride? No way I would've gotten into a vehicle with a driver that drunk.

You don't seem to understand.

There are plenty of laws on the books about drinking and driving. I like a cocktail now and then myself. I have one...I don't drive. I happen to be responsible because I understand the consequences and I want to ride to work in my heated or air-conditioned car and stay dry when it rains. Can't do that on a moped or scooter.
The nation is serious about this issue. The drunk drivers are not. We have laws against rape, murder, robbery, child molestation an on and on and on....yet they still find a way to walk among us, in freedom to repeat their crimes over and over. Same with the DWI's...the courtrooms have a rotating door that never stops......

Oh, I understand completely

You raise some valid points and I agree with you. But, isn't it sad that these people are allowed to continuously behave this way and when they are caught they are given light sentences/fines? Revolving door of justice to be sure.

Multiple laws are great but if they lack teeth then they are basically useless as a deterrence.

I agree

My condolences to the victims family. The state government will never, in my opinion crack down on drunk drivers. Too much of the alcohol money goes to the state, so they're up there sayin...drink away...and do it while talking on your cell phone while you're at it. But you better not have a cigarette in public anywhere and let's waste more time on fighting Titan. Ridiculous.

Right prediction, but wrong end of the equation

The problem isn't the money the state collects from alcohol sales. 99% of the money will still be there if we lock up every single DUI convict.

The problem is the money that attorneys make defending these chronic problem children.

That's why prison sentences for ALL crimes are a joke in this state. A legislature that is made up almost entirely of attorneys is NOT going to cut the bread and butter of their fellow attorneys.