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FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Driver charged with DWI after deadly accident

READ MORE: Parents remember daughter killed in crash

UPDATE (6/2): A man is behind bars tonight in connection to the Brunswick County accident that killed a 23-year-old woman. Richard Constantineau is charged with felony death by vehicle and DWI. Detectives say he crossed the center line on Highway 211 last week, hitting Stephanie Heath's car head-on, killing her instantly.

Toxicology results reveal that Constantineau had a drug in his system at the time of the crash, but the District Attorney won't reveal exactly what drug he was on. The DA said the report is being used as evidence.

At Stephanie Heath's memorial, a Constantineau family spokesperson said he had been in an accident more than 20 years ago, and has been on narcotics ever since. Constantineau is in the Brunswick County Jail under a $50,000 secured bond.


An accident in Brunswick County made headlines last week when it shut down Highway 211 for hours.

One person was killed, and the man who caused the crash was airlifted to the hospital. The 23-year-old victim was the daughter of Ray Heath, an engineer at WWAY NewsChannel 3.

"She had a love of life that sometimes I even found hard to understand," Ray said.

"You expect to bury your parents and your spouse one day, but never your daughters, your sons, your children. It's just not the way you expect life to go," said his wife Kim.

Ray and Kim Heath lost their daughter Stephanie Heath Thursday when Richard Constantineau crossed the center line on Highway 211 in Brunswick County and hit her head on. Stephanie died instantly.

No matter how much of a hurry she was in, friends say Stephanie would always stop alongside the road and pick wildflowers.

"What a beautiful daughter, a grand-daughter, a niece a friend, a sweetheart, a ballerina, a martial artist, a beach baby," said Kim.

The 23-year old was a student at Brunswick Community College. "Called us on Tuesday to tell us she'd made the Dean's List. She was so proud," said Kim.

A hospital spokeswoman tells us Constantineau was treated and released. He has an extensive reckless driving record and state troopers suspect he may have been on drugs at the time of the accident. His blood test results are expected be released tomorrow.

"We have no hate for the other driver," said Ray. "We have sadness for his family. He certainly has something he has to live with."

Kim and Ray say they hope something good will come out of all this. "We always said 'Goodbye I love you' everytime we parted in our family, so I know that's the last thing we told her and the last thing we heard from her. And I hope everybody will do that because life can suddenly be over, a beautiful young girl, gone," said Kim. "Yeah this is something that happens to everybody else not to you. But it can happen to you. So you have to live every minute, knowing it may be your last or your loved one's last," added Ray.

The Heaths would like to start a scholarship in Stephanie's honor. Any donations can be mailed to the Brunswick Community College Foundation:

Brunswick Community College
P.O. Box 30
Supply, NC 28462

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Is it really worth it?

To all people that drink and drive is having that drink which gives you that extra sense of fun and good times really worth what seems to happen all too often? Is it worth taking the chance that you might kill an innocent person? I happen to believe in an eye for an eye, and in a case such as this, the one that has been drinking and decides to get behind the steering wheel of a car and drive should also be put to death. Yes this is harsh, but that seems to be the only way to make the dumb masses out there get the message that this will not be tolerated any longer and if you kill by motor vehicle because you chose to drink and drive, then you will also be killed in return.

how long does it take?

The results are still not back of his blood test? Are you kidding me? long does it take for a simple toxicology test to come back. It is ridiculous, a young girl has lost her precious life and this idiot is able to be released from the hospital... and by now is probably out driving again... When is someone going to say enough is enough? How many people have to lose their lives to these selfish idiots before someone mandates harsher punishments for those who drive under the influence. I feel like if you drive under the influence, you should be charged with attempted murder, if you actually do kill someone as a result of your recklessness than you should be charged with 1st degree murder, you were the one that made the decision to use or drink, and stepping behind the wheel of a car deserves a more severe punishment than losing your license for a year, and probation, or 60 days in jail... I'm sick of our legal system continually failing the citizen's it's supposed to protect! SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE!!! These oh so great people in office where are you? What are you doing to make a difference besides absolutely nothing! Why isn't someone questioning what is taking so long with these reports? Oh wait, I'm sure the local director of MADD is still new and learning her job tasks.... To the Heath family, I personally knew Stephanie, and I am praying for you and your family...

Unfortunately, these tests

Unfortunately, these tests take time so law enforcement can use the results to prosecute to the fullest extent. Quick results are not alway accurate, and this individual needs to be convicted. Please be patient.

totally agree. someone

totally agree. someone makes a decision to get behind the wheel of a vehicle impaired. you are now in possession of a deadly weapon. we need harsher punishment for these people. an innocent person has been taken from their families because of a stupid, senseless act

Rhetorical I know

I know most of what you said is out of anger and outrage over a senseless death, but here is an amazingly to the point article on toxicology tests and how long they take:

The turn around for this one believe it or not was surprisingly fast. They also something you want to rush and do wrong. An improper toxicology report could easily have him falsely exhonerated and back on the streets without any real punishment.


I can't get her off my mind so I'm talking to God everyday and am reminded that her beautiful love of life has brought her to a beautiful time and place unknown to us but with Jesus himself.
I love you all and may we always remember to dance and stop and pick some flowers.

You can't say it enough

I just watched the story about the Heaths & I am here to say the Good Lord will be there for ya'll! I have lost a Child to an accident & thought I would never "get through it", but I was wrong. I was given the Strenghth & Encouragement to go on by my Lord & Savior in knowing that I will be Reunited with my Son again in a Heavenly Reunion!!! Just be assured, that there are people Praying for your Family! And you can NEVER say I LOVE YOU too much!!! God Bless :)

Such a beautiful girl

Such a beautiful girl. It's always a tragedy when someone so young gets killed by someone else's reckless actions. My prayers go out to the family and friends she left behind.


One more time, Ray and Kim you showed us that you are blessed. You two can say the exact words at the right time. I am amazed how advanced you two are in dealing with delicated situations. I have known you for more than 17 years and loved you even longer. Thank you for showing your mature and developed thoughts in such a greiving time. I will always love you.