Driver doing donuts before crash kills UNCW student

In court on March 16, Nicholas Henry Pohlman, the driver facing charges of involuntary manslaughter and DWI in connection with a fatal crash on the University of North Carolina Wilmington grounds on October 1, 2022, was granted release under specified conditions. The incident occurred at 632 College Road around 12:15 a.m., resulting in the death of UNCW sophomore Howard Lashon Coleman II.

Pohlman, who was 19 at the time and not a UNCW student, allegedly engaged in donuts in an empty Taco Bell parking lot, causing the Jeep to overturn with three occupants. Coleman, aged 20, lost his life in the tragic accident, which coincidentally would have been his 21st birthday on the day of the court hearing.

Despite arguments from Pohlman’s legal team for a reduced bond, emphasizing his lack of flight risk, the judge considered the state’s concerns, including a previous violation of pre-trial release. Ultimately, Pohlman was released under strict conditions:

– Adhere to a curfew from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., with exceptions only for pre-approved work at specified businesses.
– Wear a scram device to monitor alcohol levels and an ankle monitor.
– Undergo random and periodic drug testing.
– Reside with his parents.
– Work in an establishment that does not sell alcohol.

The state intends to present witnesses to testify about Pohlman’s reputation for reckless driving and their refusal to ride with him due to concerns for their safety. Additionally, the state alleges that Pohlman expressed more concern about the legal consequences than rendering assistance at the scene, as reported by law enforcement and witnesses.

This case serves as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of drinking and driving. The loss of Howard Lashon Coleman II underscores the tragic outcomes that can result from irresponsible actions behind the wheel. It is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of making responsible choices, especially when it comes to alcohol consumption and operating a vehicle.

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