Debris may help ID vehicle in fatal I-40 hit-and-run
Posted September 10, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Police said Tuesday that they may have identified the type of vehicle involved in a hit-and-run last month that killed a man on Interstate 40 in Raleigh.
Weston Vandermerwe, 23, was found Aug. 13 under a guardrail on westbound I-40 near Hammond Road. A police report indicates that Vandermerwe was likely walking along the highway when a vehicle merging from the Hammond Road on-ramp hit him, throwing him about 95 feet.
Raleigh Police Department crash investigators recovered a number of items of potential evidence at the scene, including pieces of debris from vehicles. Police said every piece of vehicle debris except one has been linked to other wrecks and eliminated as being related to the fatal hit-and-run.
The remaining piece of debris is from the right corner portion of the front bumper of a dark blue SUV, police said. Investigators have determined it was part of a 2007-2014 Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Avalanche, Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon or Cadillac Escalade.
Investigators said they hope the public can locate the SUV from which the bumper part came to determine if it was involved in Vandermerwe's death.
"The debris they found could be a lead," said Becky Daly, Vandermerwe's mother. "If there is someone (who knows something), I hope they would come forward."
Anyone with information is asked to call Raleigh Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357.
Vandermerwe, an East Carolina University graduate, was last seen about 2 miles away from the crash scene at The Oxford, on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, at about 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 10.
Daly said the grief has been overwhelming, but she has found some peace.
"It is the worst thing ever not to have him here everyday, to not see him everyday, to not have him here. It's awful," she said. "(But) I am at peace. I know the police have done their job. They have tried their best."