Local News

Man heartbroken over fatal crash at Smithfield Walmart

Posted October 3, 2011
Updated October 12, 2011

— A 95-year-old man who crashed a pickup truck into three women outside a Smithfield Walmart on Saturday, killing one of them, said Monday that he is heartbroken about what happened.

"My foot must have slipped off the brake," said Benjamin Moye, 95, of Newport News, Va.

Lois Shannon, 73, Debra Holmes, 53, and Jeanna Hawley, 35, all of Smithfield, were taken to Johnston County Memorial Hospital, where Shannon later died. Holmes and Hawley were in good condition Monday.

Man heartbroken over fatal crash at Smithfield Walmart Man heartbroken over fatal crash at Smithfield Walmart

Moye, who was staying at his nephew's home in Clayton, went to the Walmart, on North Brightleaf Boulevard, for some milk. He said he was looking for a parking space when he hit the three women in the crosswalk.

"You don't forget that," he said, noting that he hasn't been able to sleep and has been having flashbacks of the wreck.

The Johnston County District Attorney's Office has asked the North Carolina State Highway Patrol to investigate the crash to determine if any charges should be filed.

"That's what it is, a terrible accident, for his part and for the other family as well. It's just bad," said Lt. Keith Powell of the Smithfield Police Department.

Moye said he's been driving since he was 15 and had never hit anything or anyone until Saturday. He said he doesn't think he should be charged in the case, and he doesn't think he should lose his license.

"(Older drivers) are just as good as any young ones," he said. "(They are) better than the young ones because they are more careful."

Moye wasn't injured in the crash.


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  • dwallace9392 Oct 13, 2011

    Sad story,but the driver should at the least be taken off the road for the safety of others. How many people do we want him to kill? Accident or not, one person is already dead.

  • katharosnc Oct 6, 2011

    Truly a sad story, for both parties. My personal theory that the elderly shouldn't be driving is stronger now more than ever. Drivers and pedestrians BOTH need to be careful - this elderly driver was cursed with decreased judgment and perception, as so many are. Something was bound to happen sooner or later. The elderly and younger drivers are more of a risk out on the road. KEEP THE ELDERLY OFF THE ROAD AND ALL OTHER DRIVERS PLEASE START PAYING MORE ATTENTION TO BEING A SAFE DRIVER!!! THAT COULD HAVE BEEN YOU HE PLOWED IN TO!!!!

  • info182 Oct 5, 2011

    Keeping Us Safe is a national organization that works with the families of older drivers to prevent such tragedies. We offer a workbook titled "Beyond Driving with Dignity; The workbook for the families of older drivers". This workbook was written for concerned family members who are worried about a loved-ones ability to continue driving safely as a result of the aging process. In addition, we will be in Raleigh on Nov. 10th to offer our 1-day "Beyond Driving with Dignity" Professional Certification course to professionals that may find themselves confronted with this very challenging and sensitive issue. Please visit keepingussafe.org to learn more about the workbook and/or the professional certification course or call us at 877-907-8841.

  • jungleflu Oct 4, 2011

    And by the way I am a republican(i didnt vote for Osama Bin Obama. i have been hit at an intersection by a old woman that never saw the stop sign and hit the gas going through the intersection. i was out of work for a year , and because she was a grandma she didnt get a ticket.(explain that)
    a year ago a younger driver killed his girl friend in the same walmart he got distracted hit something and she got killed in his car he was arrested for manslaughter. (explain that)
    WHY THIS OLD MAN IS NOT IN JAIL IS A TRAVISTY OF JUSTICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • soyousay Oct 4, 2011

    houn..So what's next? Mandatory death age?

    Oh no the secret is out!!! What age did the voices tell you and we can compare.

  • soyousay Oct 4, 2011

    houn..Ah, the socialist are out in force here

    is school on break again?

  • jungleflu Oct 4, 2011


    But you should have to take a reflex test NOT just an eye test after 65
    Because and facts are facts people over the age of 65 have dimished motor reflex skills I.E. meaning they cant do what they use too, like drive like a normal person

  • houndsforme Oct 4, 2011

    Ah, the socialist are out in force here! So, now we get to decide when someone is to old to drive? Put a limit on driving age on the backend too... Right?

    So what's next? Mandatory death age? Oh, wait a minute! You communist already did that with Obama Care!!!

  • jellygirl Oct 4, 2011

    "(Older drivers) are just as good as any young ones," he said. "(They are) better than the young ones because they are more careful. Is this guy serious? The older ones are so careful they actually run people down in parking lots????

  • PokeyGirl Oct 4, 2011

    Maybe he is "heartbroken" but why is this article all about how HE feels? How about the family and friends of the woman he ran over and killed? He should be charged no matter what his age. He also sounds a bit too defensive about his driving privileges, he just killed a person and shouldn't be complaining that he shouldn't be charged. He should be charged as anyone else would be, regardless of age.