Local News

95-year-old driver charged in fatal crash at Smithfield Walmart

Posted October 11, 2011
Updated October 12, 2011

— Police on Tuesday charged a 95-year-old driver in connection with a recent crash outside a Walmart in Smithfield that killed one woman and injured two others.

Benjamin Moye, of Newport News, Va., was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle. He was released and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 8.

Moye, who was staying at his nephew's home in Clayton, went to the Walmart, on North Brightleaf Boulevard, on Oct. 1 for some milk. He said he was looking for a parking space when he hit the three women in the crosswalk.

"My foot must have slipped off the brake," he told WRAL News two days later.

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

Moye, who wasn't injured, said in an interview that he had repeated flashbacks of the crash and had difficulty sleeping. Still, he said he had never hit anything in 80 years behind the wheel and didn't think he should be charged.


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  • barbstillkickin Oct 20, 2011

    What would be your sentence for this old person who has paid his debt to our society for so long. Would you put him on death row or maybe life in prison. He is old no it is not ok that some one lost there life but just who gave this man a drivers license. Maybe DMV should have to pay some restitution for this crime oh wait Purdue took all there money away. I am sorry for the loss to the family but this man should just not be allowed to drive.

  • Here is a Thought Oct 13, 2011

    Be clear here to everyone, age here is irrelevant, this man killed one, injured others, why is there different standard for this man, because of age? Where would you outrage be for an 18 year old in the exact fashion? This take took, still takes the full accountability for what he did. His ability not his age is the issue here only.

    The charge is proper. This man is lucky that I am not his Judge for sentencing.

    My message from the bench would be clear.

  • Falcon93 Oct 13, 2011

    This bring flash backs to the early 1990's when I was sitting waiting to renew my license in an office that used to be in Dunn. There was an elderly gentleman in front of me doing his sign test. I honestly do not remember him getting 1 right, but the examiner would say "that's ok it's a ____".

    He still passed and got his license renewed.

    I know there is a whole bundle of issues such as trying to maintain independence, etc.. Each of us will face that should the Lord keep us here on earth that long.

    However, if you hold the responsibility, you hold the consequence. It is pointless in punishing a 95 year old in the same manner as a 30 year old, but it is just as ludicrous to say "Im 95 I shouldn't be held accountable".

  • storchheim Oct 12, 2011

    gphotohound2, you're correct. At the Oxford Walmart I often see people by themselves or in a group, taking their time, sauntering across the lane cars have to drive in. "Cultural" differences, I guess. I'd hate to think it's some kind of reparations, or that for some unguessable reason, they enjoy frustrating and holding up certain other people.

    I've been in the crosswalk there and had a car pull up in front of me blocking my path when there were no other vehicles in the loading lane, and take their sweet time loading a couple of obese passengers ever so slowly into the vehicle, laughing out loud and staring as I then have to walk around the car, when they could have pulled up 4 more feet and let me proceed.

    It's just smart to make eye contact with the driver, and not do anything to antagonize someone controlling a weapon when there's nothing between you and the pavement.

  • soyousay Oct 12, 2011

    rob..So the goverment tells us we have to work till we're 65 or older, by the time i get their it will be older. How is that suppose to work?

    then quit, might get a little lean, but just quit

  • soyousay Oct 12, 2011

    Yes, it is very, very unfortunate and sad that someone died but ..

    that is utterly callous, and the understatement of the day

  • rbenson Oct 12, 2011

    It was an unfortunate accident, but someone lost their life. If it was your relative that was killed, you might think the charges are appropriate.

  • NC Reader Oct 12, 2011

    I felt mighty sorry for the man until I read (in a previous article) that he didn't even think he should lose his license.

  • parktu86 Oct 12, 2011

    He should be charged. You are responsible for anything you do behind the wheel of a vehicle. If it is found neglegent then you are criminally responsible. An "accident" is an event that no one did anything wrong and the event could not have been avoided. Not paying attention to where he was going and looking for a parking space, is his fault.

  • no taco p Oct 12, 2011

    Charges of misdemeanor death by vehicle, do not necessarily result in jail time of loss of license, but his insurance company will make sure he never drives again.