ROCKINGHAM — Sheriff’s deputies say a man ran his ex-girlfriend off the road Sunday, flipping her minivan onto its roof in a grass yard along a Richmond County road.
State troopers in Anson County caught 39-year-old Mark Todd McDonald of Whitlock Street in Hamlet shortly after the Sunday night crash. McDonald is accused of causing the 8:10 p.m. wreck that injured five people inside the van.
Sheriff’s Capt. Jay Childers said all five passengers were hospitalized, but their injuries weren’t life-threatening.
“Any time you have a vehicle overturn like that, it could be a lot worse,” Childers said.
McDonald’s ex-girlfriend had secured a domestic violence protective order that prevented him from visiting or contacting her, deputies said. It wasn’t clear why he had been following her van or why he allegedly forced her off the road.
The crash outside a home on the 5900 block of Old Charlotte Highway west of Rockingham shut down a stretch of the two-lane road for several hours. Firefighters and paramedics helped free the passengers from the crumpled van.
State troopers began investigating the wreck, but turned the case over to Richmond County deputies after learning that a vehicular assault caused the van to overturn, the sheriff’s office and N.C. Highway Patrol said.
Deputies arrested McDonald on an initial charge of violating a domestic violence protective order. The case remains under investigation, and Childers said more charges are anticipated today.
McDonald is being held without bond in the Richmond County Detention Center.
— Corey Friedman