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