LILLINGTON — General Motors has offered to help the N.C. Highway Patrol in its investigation of a traffic accident that killed a high school teacher.
The Fayetteville Observer reports troopers are considering a theory that the 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt driven by 39-year-old William Neil Parnell III was among those included in recalls for faulty ignition switches.
The ignition switches in older-model small cars such as the Cobalt and Saturn Ion can slip out of the “run” position and shut down the cars’ engines. That disables the power-assisted steering and brakes and can cause drivers to lose control. It also disables the air bags.
Parnell was killed last week when his car hit a stopped school bus on U.S. 401. Investigators found no evidence that Parnell tried to stop before the collision.
Investigators did not recover a cellphone from the car, Trooper Mike Baker said. Investigators had said the wreck was caused by driver inattention.
“Basically, I think what happened is that GM received a complaint and they got in touch with us,” Baker said of the GM offer to help.