Local News

Father of hit-and-run victim focused on loss, not finding culprit

Posted August 14, 2013
Updated September 10, 2013

Weston Vandemerwe was reported missing on Aug. 11, 2013, and his body was found along Interstate 40 in south Raleigh two days later.

— 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.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Thermoplastic Man Aug 23, 2013

    buster102007, spunkyisbackagain, and paulej: You are absolutely right. I know this, because I personally have dealt with this issue. NC is THE PRISON STATE!! Guilt or innocence, right or wrong, none of this matters. It's all about MONEY.

    jscott13, lisaclark2, I'm sorry, but you have no idea what you are talking about. Without question, I will NEVER come forward for anything again EVER!! Coming forward was the biggest mistake I ever made. My life has been destroyed by a drunk fool (not me). And yes, I can now look over my shoulder for the rest of my life, should anything like this ever happen to me again. No problem there. Why? Because the system is corrupt, cops protect each other, everyone wants money, and NO ONE wants to take responsibility for their actions (like being drunk and sitting in the roadway). I have absolutely learned my lesson, and it is this: NEVER TALK TO THE POLICE, NEVER COME FORWARD, AND DENY, DENY, DENY!! Anybody who does anything else, is a fool (like I was)!

  • IPayYouPay Aug 23, 2013

    I would be grieving as well. However, we are all responsible for ourselves. There are ways to get home safely. Think about it.

  • sjb2k1 Aug 22, 2013

    scarlett2 this isn't a conspiracy. he made a bad choice while under the influence. something that could happen to anyone and usually would not have a bad outcome. but this time it did.

  • Justic4All Aug 22, 2013

    The nightmare is the media hounding them for tear jerking stories. Leave them alone. Let LE and the family dow what they can do. No broken car parts from a hit that threw the 200lb. kid 95 feet? A third of a football field?

  • Blessing2all Aug 22, 2013

    If whom ever was traveling that highway entering onto the ramp at Hammond Rd on that night around that time and have a small idea or felt like they hit something bigger and harder then a bump should come forward. Condolences to the family on their loss and may they find peace that passes all understanding in the days to come.

  • wjohn82486 Aug 22, 2013

    According to reports Weston was so drunk he was laying on the ground. How does someone stagger along a highway that distance and no one called the police to report it??? Yes, It is 1:30 in the morning but still traffic on the roads in that area. If the time of death was the next day he would have been sober and not in the highway.

  • buster102007 Aug 22, 2013

    sinenomine - If you ever do hit something large as I have, See my post earlier,are you saying after traveling 300 or more feet before safely stopping that you would get out of your car all alone at 3am in the morning and walk up and down the highway looking for what you hit?????????????????????????? Get real!!!!!!! All of you people saying that this person knows with a 100% certainty what they hit are confused simple minded people. It is already fact that he was not even found for several days and found by luck because he was hit so hard that his body flew 90 feet or yds, don't remember. So how would you be able to find him? All alone? In the dark? Taking a chance of being hit yourself? I will tell you right now 99% of people that hit deer do not call the police unless their car is so damaged that it cannot be driven. I can also tell you that the police are so understaffed right now that they do not want you calling just because you hit a deer. Probably 30 deer get hit daily.

  • jurydoc Aug 22, 2013

    "Why do so many blame the victim?"

    Actually there is a social psychological explanation for this phenomenon. It is called "defensive attributions." Humans tend to attribute what appear to be random acts to the victim's behavior because then it diminishes the "randomness." The reasoning is "if I don't do what this victim did, then I will not suffer the same fate." There is then psychological comfort for the person doing making the attribution. It is a "defense" against acknowledging that bad things can happen to good people.

  • Obamacare saves lives Aug 22, 2013

    I agree with monkeyboy. The girlfriend should be ashamed of herself.

  • Ven Aug 22, 2013

    Why do so many blame the victim? Your comments are unnecessary and do not add anything to the trajectory of this sad incident.

    Is it blame or expectation of accountability? Even his mother and family have stated as much and creating an endowment to raise awareness...