Family looks to move on
by Ali Drake
Charges of death by motor vehicle have been dropped against Alexander Pappa following a May 17 wreck that claimed the life of the teen’s 14-year-old brother. Now, the Pappa family is hoping to see changes on New Town Road.
Officials say rainy weather conditions on May 17 and Pappa’s inexperience with driving likely contributed to the New Town Road wreck. Trooper Mark Helms said Pappa was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and was driving the speed limit when his car veered into oncoming traffic and collided with another car around 3:20 p.m. Paulo Pappa, Alexander’s brother and a student at Cuthbertson High School, was killed in the wreck.
“Its a sad situation all the way around,” Helms said of the wreck and subsequent charges. “We investigate the collision and bring the charges, but the (district attorney) can see what we don’t see.”
All charges are now dropped, as “after reviewing the case I decided that there was insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution,” District Attorney Trey Robinson said.
Several students from Cuthberston came together following the wreck, forming a Facebook group demanding improvements to New Town Road and saying the roadway is unsafe and should be widened. The high school is located not far away from where the wreck took place, and is a connecting route to Providence Road.
“I wish they would fix this road,” said Sheila Helms Smith in a post on the Facebook page. “When I was younger I lived in Marvin and traveled New Town Road all the time. It is a very dangerous road. … Please fix this winding narrow and (curvy) road. I was lucky that day – I wish the young Pappa boys would have been as lucky. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Pappa family.”
Students mourned the loss of Paulo, who was well know for his musical aptitude. Students wore black in remembrance and painted the school spirit rock in his honor.
Today, the Pappa family is still struggling with the loss.
“If anything, as a family we’re hoping that the state of (North Carolina) will focus on the safety of roads,” said Andrea Pappa, Alex and Paulo’s sister. They hope the outcry can help prevent any more accidents on New Town Road.