[noun]: an intense persistent desire to drink alcoholic beverages to excess

Monday, October 30, 2006

Meg Hughes | Jennifer Carter | Ben Leonard

SANFORD, N.C. -- A judge on Monday questioned whether the bond should be raised for a man charged with killing three people in a drunken-driving accident Friday.

Pastor Rios Sanchez, 55, of Sanford, remains in the Lee County Jail on a $75,000 bond. He is charged with three counts of involuntary manslaughter, driving while intoxicated and having an open container of alcohol in his car.

Meg Hughes, 22, of Summerville, S.C., Jennifer Carter, 18, of Jacksonville, N.C., both students at North Carolina State University, and Hughes' stepbrother, 16-year-old Ben Leonard, were returning to Raleigh from Lee County Friday evening when a 1999 Dodge Intrepid crossed the center line on N.C. Highway 42 about five miles east of Sanford, authorities said.

The Intrepid collided head-on with Hughes' 1990 Toyota Corolla station wagon, killing Hughes and Carter instantly. Leonard died during surgery at Central Carolina Hospital, authorities said.

Last year, Sanchez pleaded guilty to driving without a license.