Father of hit-and-run victim focused on loss, not finding culprit
Posted August 14, 2013
Updated September 10, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — The father of an Apex man whose body was found Tuesday along a south Raleigh highway said Wednesday that he's not concerned right now about finding the driver who hit and killed his son.
Weston Michael Vandemerwe, 23, was reported missing Sunday, and a state Department of Transportation crew found his body under a guardrail on Interstate 40/440 between Hammond Road and South Saunders Street.
"It is killing me," his father, Wayne Vandemerwe, said Wednesday. "I can't believe I have to bury my son."
Weston Vandemerwe, a recent East Carolina University graduate, was last seen leaving The Oxford bar on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh around 1:30 a.m. Saturday. Friends said he and his girlfriend argued, and she left in a cab.
Two Shaw University students told his mother as the family searched for him this weekend that they saw him lying on the ground outside the downtown convention center early Saturday but said he declined any help.
Police said it appears that Weston Vandemerwe was the victim of a hit-and-run crash, but as of Wednesday, they still had no description of the vehicle that hit him or any possible witnesses.
According to a wreck report, investigators believe Weston Vandemerwe was walking along the highway when a car merging from the Hammond Road on-ramp hit him. His body was found 95 feet from the point of impact.
Family members said they believe he was walking home.
"Weston was in a situation where he should not have been and it's over. You can't go back and reach back and change anything for him," Wayne Vandemerwe said. "Just knowing that he was on his way home, it's just hard to describe, but it happened and he will be missed."
Weston Vandemerwe's younger brother, Gavin Vandemerwe, added that the loss still feels unreal.
"To be honest, it hasn't really hit me that I wake up every morning and a brother that was there last week isn't there anymore," he said. "I never thought in my life I would have to do this."
Wayne Vandemerwe said he wanted to thank the community for the help and support they provided to the family in recent days.
Anyone with information about the hit-and-run crash is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357.
Friends of the Vandemerwes have set up a fund to help with Weston's funeral expenses.