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Former Rep. Womble 'Elated' Charges Dropped, Weighing Future

6:04 PM, Nov 28, 2012   |    comments
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Winston-Salem, NC -- Former state Rep. Larry Womble (D-Forsyth) says he's earned a new nickname over the last year: "Miracle Man."

Womble spoke publicly for the first time on Wednesday after death by motor vehicle charges against him were dropped by the Forsyth Co. district attorney and state attorney general. The dismissal was filed Monday.

Womble's nickname comes from his doctors, who he says called him lucky to survive a Dec. 2011 crash on Reynolds Park Road in Winston-Salem.

Womble was accused of crossing the center line and causing the wreck, which killed 55-year-old David Carmichael. After an investigation, authorities charged Womble.

"I'm happy [and] elated that the facts proved that I was in my lane and the gentleman crossed over in to my lane and hit me," the nine-term state legislator said Wednesday.

Womble said that the fatal accident broke nearly every bone in his body, but the accusations that he killed Carmichael hurt even more.

"I'm glad the truth came out," he said. "That allows me time now to concentrate 100 percent on my healing."

As a result of the accident, Womble is blind in his left eye and can't stand or walk.

Womble says he harbors no ill will toward the investigators who charged him, and he's glad his lawyer, the Winston-Salem Police Department, the Forsyth County District Attorney's Office and the state Attorney General's Office continued to examine the wreck, even after Womble was charged.

Witnesses on scene seemed confused over whose car was heading which direction, Womble's lawyer said. Couple that with a savage crash, and confusion about who was where and when led to the charges against Womble.

Investigators eventually learned Carmichael, whose blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit, had been drinking downtown as little as 20 minutes before the crash, and that he was the one who crossed the center line.

"I didn't think this could ever happen to me," Womble said. "But lo and behold, your life can be changed in an instant."

While he was happy to have his name cleared, Womble says he feels terrible for the Carmichael family, who he knows well.

"I still stand ready to do whatever I can to help them," he said. "Because they have to heal also."

Womble says he won't rule out a return to politics as he continues recuperate, but walking again and completing his rehabilitation is his top priority.

WFMY News 2

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