Suspect makes first court appearance after deadly crash, neighbors react

23-year-old Walter Wade Ange appeared in court on Monday afternoon after allegedly driving a car into an apartment early on Saturday morning.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — 23-year-old Walter Wade Ange appeared in court on Monday afternoon after allegedly driving a car into an apartment early on Saturday morning.

Just before 3 am, Wilmington Police responded to a call at Hawthorne Commons on the 4900 block of Tarheel Court where they discovered the vehicle inside the apartment.

A couple inside was rushed to New Hanover Regional Medical Center with serious injuries. 48-year-old Kelly Prince later died from her injuries and Luis Rodrigues remains in serious condition.

At the time of the crash, Ramon Serrano and his roommates were watching a movie just across the street in their home. He says they never even heard the tires screech.

“We were watching a movie and we automatically thought it was like a sound effect from the movie and then we were like that was just too lifelike. It was scary, I mean it was a loud crash. It was a loud crash,” Serrano said. “We all ran out the door and looked, just jaws to the floor in awe.”

Charley Inabinet lives in the same building where the crash happened. She and her roommate were sleeping at the time.

“We just heard a huge boom. My roommate thought that there was an earthquake, I didn’t know what happened,” Inabinet said.

First, she looked out her window and saw people running towards her building. She walked out of her apartment and smelled rubber, then went downstairs to find a car in someone’s living room and those people had run over to help until first responders arrived.

Unfortunately, Inabinet says this is not the only accident she’s heard at this intersection. About a month ago, she says they witnessed an accident where another car was T-boned.

“There have been a couple of instances where we’ve seen wrecks or we hear wrecks, this intersection is awful,” Inabinet said. “I’m not a [traffic engineer], but I just know there maybe needs to be a stoplight or a roundabout, or something different so that these accidents can lessen.”

She hopes the city will work to make the area safer somehow. She also says she and her roommate do have plans to move further away from traffic.

“I’m thankful to be alive and well. I can’t believe that happened to those people and it just really makes your eyes open to that life is precious,” Inabinet said.

Ange is charged with felony hit and run resulting in death, felony hit and run resulting in serious injury, reckless driving to endanger, and a stop sign violation. At the first appearance, his bond remained at $100,000 but the court decided if he does make bond he will be required to wear an alcohol monitoring device as well as a location monitoring device.

His next court date is set for December 16.

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