BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- In the last 60 days in Brunswick County four people have died in car accidents where one of the drivers is accused of driving while impaired. The latest crash happened yesterday and claimed two lives. Highway Patrol says alcohol and speed both played a factor in the crash.
Troopers say Hermilo Vargas and Emilino Ramirez left a party and headed down Boones Neck Road near Holden Beach. Vargas ran off the road at about 80 miles per hour and hit a live oak tree. Highway Patrol estimates they were driving nearly twice the suggested speed of the curve when they hit this tree. The car flipped several times across the center line.
Vargas and Ramirez were both ejected. Investigators say Vargas flew about 150 feet through the air. Ramirez's ex-girlfriend says she can't reach his family in Mexico to notify them because he is an undocumented immigrant.
Ramirez, the passenger in the crash, got a DWI five years ago and was required to have an interlock device on his car to keep him from driving drunk. He was charged with an open container.
Ramirez was a mechanic at B&B Tires in Holden Beach, and was loved by coworkers.
"He did things like volunteering for relay for life for the womanless beauty pageant last year. He's family," Pauling Benton, Ramirez's boss, said. "He's family, and we're all going to miss him very, very much."
No word on Vargas's immigration status. Papers found inside the car were under a different name and has a Mexican address.
Brunswick County ranks third in the state for deadly accidents involving alcohol. The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Management are joining forces on the Safe Summer Program. They plan to increase the number of checkpoints and arrests and strictly enforce the punishments.