Apex man's unsolved hit-and-run death a 'nightmare' for grieving family
Posted September 10, 2013
Updated 11:15 p.m. Saturday
Raleigh, N.C. — The mother of an Apex man whose body was found along a south Raleigh highway last week says it's a nightmare for her and her family who are trying to make sense out of what police say appears to be his hit-and-run death.
"We're all just trying to hold up, and as the days go on, it doesn't get easier," said Becky Daly, whose son, Weston Vandermerwe, was found Aug. 13 under a guardrail on westbound Interstate 40 near Hammond Road.
Raleigh police say the 23-year-old East Carolina University graduate was last seen about 2 miles away at The Oxford on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh around 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 10.
A wreck report indicates that Vandemerwe was likely walking along the highway when a vehicle merging from the Hammond Road on-ramp hit him, throwing him about 95 feet.
But investigators say they have yet to identify a vehicle or driver in the case – a piece of the puzzle that Daly says has been difficult for her grieving family.
"I just wish somebody would step up, you know, just for closure," she said.
Police want to hear from anyone who might have seen something in the early hours of Aug. 10 or who might have information about the case. Tips, which can be anonymous, may be reported to Crime Stoppers, at 919-834-4357.
Daly says she know her son made a mistake leaving his friends at the bar and opting to walk along a busy highway instead of taking a cab or calling someone to give him a ride.
"He knew better. He's not a stupid kid. He made a terrible decision," she said. "He was on his way to amazing things. He had everything in front of him."
In the midst of the tragedy, she and other family members are setting up an endowment at Vandemerwe's fraternity at ECU.
Its aim, the family says, is to educate others about drinking responsibly and making smart decisions. Daly says she hopes her son's story will be a lesson for others.
"It's just a freak, terrible awful thing that happened," she said. "I pray that people – young kids, adults – learn from this."