The man charged in the death of Knightdale police officer Ryan Hayworth


Knightdale Police Officer Ryan Hayworth

A year after the death of a Knightdale police officer, A man has been indicted by a Wake County grand jury on a charge of second degree murder.

On October 17, 2021, 23-year-old Officer Ryan Hayworth was killed on Interstate 540 after his parked patrol SUV was struck by a 70 mph car driven by Dedric Privette of Knightdale.

Privette, 40, who was driving a 2011 Mercedes-Benz. he was also charged on Monday on charges of impaired driving, careless and reckless driving, serious injury and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, according to ABC11, media partner of The News & Observer.

Hayworth, who had only been on the job for three months, was investigating an earlier crash on I-540 shortly after 2:30 a.m. that day when Privette hit one of the squad cars, pushing him into another, the N&O reported.

Another officer who was with Hayworth, Cody Hagler, was also injured in the crash.

Hayworth and Hagler were ejected from the vehicle, which caught fire during the crash.

Hayworth landed a few feet from the crash and died at a hospital hours later, according to a wrongful-death lawsuit his family filed against Privette in February.

Hundreds of people gathered in Knightdale for a vigil for the police officer last October to remember his life and service. He was buried on October 22, 2021.

Privette was injured in the crash and is being held on $2 million bail in the Wake County Jail, according to reports. As of Tuesday morning, he was awaiting trial on the charges.

This story was originally published October 18, 2022 8:35 am.

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Kristen Johnson is a breaking news reporter for The News & Observer. She is an alumna of UNC at Charlotte and American University.

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