CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A beloved Charlotte couple has died after a collision Tuesday night involving an impaired driver.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police responded to the 9700 block of North Tryon Street, which is near the intersection with East Mallard Creek Church Road, just before 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday. When they arrived, officers found a 2011 Audi SUV with heavy damage and a 2017 Volkswagen nearby.
The driver and passenger of the Audi, 32-year-old Luke Drawdy and 35-year-old Restin Drawdy were pronounced dead at the scene. The Gay Men's Chorus of Charlotte and QnotesCarolinas confirm the couple was married, and were well-known and active within Charlotte's LGBTQ community.
"There was not a room that they entered that was not brightened by their smiles and laughter," the Gay Men's Chorus of Charlotte said, in part, in a post on Facebook, adding Luke Drawdy was a member of the chorus. "Their love for one another was obvious to all who knew them. Their generosity and hospitality were legend. Two beautiful, young lights have gone out of the universe."
The driver of the Volkswagen, 22-year-old Thomas Nix, was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries. During the investigation, CMPD determined that Nix was impaired and speeding during the collision.
Based on the initial investigation, CMPD believes the Drawdys were attempting to turn left on North Tryon Street from a side exit of the Terraces at University Place Shopping Center while Nix was driving in the left lane, traveling southbound on North Tryon Street. Police said as the Drawdys were attempting to turn left, their vehicle was struck on the driver's side by Nix's vehicle.
CMPD said speed was a factor for Nix only, and both Luke Drawdy and Restin Drawdy were wearing seatbelts. Nix has since been charged with driving while impaired, and additional warrants were obtained for two counts of felony death by motor vehicle and reckless driving.
Stonewall Sports Charlotte, an LGBTQ and ally not-for-profit sports league, shared a post on Instagram in memory of the couple.
"Our hearts are heavy hearing the news of losing such beautiful people in our community," the post reads in part. "Take a moment to tell your teammates, friends, family, and loved ones that you are here for them and love them. Lift one another when it feels like we cannot lift ourselves. Luke and Restin, may you Rest In Peace together."
Anyone with information on the crash is urged to contact CMPD and speak with Detective Crum at 704-432-2169, extension 4 or contact Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.