Friday, March 22, 2024

Underage Fatal Crash Sparks ALE Investigation 

Mar 22, 2024

Charges have been made following an North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) investigation into a vehicle crash involving a 20-year-old driver and passenger.  

In the early morning hours of January 7, 2024, North Carolina State Highway Patrol (SHP) responded to a single-vehicle crash involving a 20-year-old male driver, Samuel Reece Freeman and a 20-year-old male passenger. The passenger died as a result of the collision. The accident occurred near U.S. Highway 74 and State Road 1520 in Union County. At the time of the crash, alcohol was believed to be a factor. SHP contacted ALE, who immediately began an investigation.

ALE special agents determined the 20-year-old driver and 20-year-old passenger had consumed alcohol at a residence in Charlotte, NC.

As a result of the investigation, the following individuals have been charged:

  • Justin Eren Cukro, 21, of Charlotte, N.C. (homeowner) was charged with two counts of Overage person Aid & Abet purchase or possession of alcohol. Cukro was charged by ALE.  

  • Samuel Reece Freeman, 20, of Indian Trail, N.C was charged with felony death by motor vehicle, expired registration card/tag, reckless driving to endanger, expired/no vehicle inspection and failure to maintain lane control. Freeman was charged by North Carolina State Highway Patrol.  

NC ALE special agents often work closely with NC SHP members investigating vehicle collisions resulting in personal injury and or death of persons less than 21 years of age when alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor in the collision. 

About ALE:

ALE’s 111 specially trained agents have the authority to arrest and take investigatory action throughout North Carolina. Their primary responsibility is the enforcement of Alcoholic Beverage Control, tobacco, state lottery and gambling laws.  



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