Local News

Motorist hit by alleged drunk motorcyclist lost daughter to drunk driver

Posted July 8, 2008
Updated July 9, 2008

— The state Highway Patrol says Arthur Tilley was drunk Monday night when deputies chased him through Durham County. His motorcycle slammed into a car. The woman in that car endured her own tragedy with a drunk driver years ago.

A motorcycle driven by Tilley was going 110 mph when it hit Sherry Dail's Saturn near Bahama Road and Preston Andrews Road.

"You've been hit once and now you've been hit again,” said Greg Dail, husband of victim.

Durham County deputies had tried to pull over Tilley, 46, for speeding on 501 North just before 10:30 p.m.

After about a 5 minute chase, Tilley crashed into the Saturn.

Tilley was thrown off the bike and taken to Duke University Hospital.

Sherry Dail was also transported to the hospital. She is expected to be OK.

"She's very sore, banged up and bruised, but she's alive,” Greg Dail said.

Her 4-year-old daughter, Megan, died in a drunken driving wreck in Durham in 1997.

"It brings back a lot of memories. We hope time heals a lot of wounds,” Greg Dail said.

Investigators said Timothy Blackwell was drunk and high on heroin when his pickup slammed into the Dail's minivan.

Blackwell was convicted of first-degree murder, but the conviction was later overturned. Four years ago, he was retried, found guilty and sentenced to up to 50 years in prison.

In Monday night's crash, Sherry Dail sprained her neck, has hip injuries and bumps and bruises on her forearms.

"You see all the blue lights, so immediately you get more tense,” said Greg Dail.

At the time of the crash that killed Megan Dial, Blackwell had five previous convictions for driving under the influence or driving while impaired, along with 20 convictions for driving with a revoked license.

Tilley also has a prior drunk driving conviction, the Highway Patrol said.

"I'd like to see more enforcement, much more enforcement,” Greg Dail said.

Despite all his family has been through, Greg Dail said he is fortunate to not have lost more.

"I'm lucky. I've got a wife ... (and) four kids she can go home to," Greg Dail said.

The Highway Patrol said Tilley was listed Wednesday in serious condition at Duke University Hospital.

Tilley was noted as having a strong odor of alcohol and is subject to being charged with: DWI. Fleeing to elude arrest, speeding, careless and reckless driving, failure to stop for blue light and siren and running a stop light, the Highway Patrol said.


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  • makeitright Jul 9, 2008

    seankelly15 -- What if the vehicle is not owned by the driver? Too bad! is the vehicle still stolen by the authorities? Stolen? I don't consider it stolen. You do the crime you get the penalty. If little Johnny is driving Dad's Mercedes.. Oh Well. What happens to the vehicle? Get's auctioned to pay for more police to search out these criminals causing senseless carnage. Until we hit them in the pocketbook and cause some hardship in their lives, it will continue. - Tell your wife that her new Lexus is takena nd you have a 100000 fine to pay and you will be in jail for a month. Think you might think twice about that 3rd drink at the sports bar?

  • lovetowrite Jul 9, 2008

    Too many people in society are not held accountable for their actions- from kindergarten through adulthood- and everyone pays the price for it. Winemaker81 is right- Enforcement of the existing laws would make a difference as well as DA's and lawyers insisting on justice being served for those injured. Unfortunately with our PC society being opposed (not me) to anything close to cruel and unusual punishment- such as putting a drunk in stocks in the public square (would 100 be enough on a given night?) for a few days to roast in the sun while he dries out, or chill his bones in the winter- no, no, no...they can't be subjected to being uncomfortable and humiliated! Nevermind the pain of the victim.
    As for the Smart-Apple who wants us to go back to our biscuits and Mt Dew...It's obvious you are an upstanding citizen with a perfect record and happily live in Mayberry with one town Drunk. My guess is- you are him.

  • iamforjustice Jul 9, 2008

    Ok this may cost a lot of money but we need in ALL cars the breathalyzer machine. And if someone blows for someone that is drunk then that person should be charged with DWI also. Something drastic needs to be done. You all talk down about mass transit but in reality it would help keep people off of the highways. I like to go out for beer at a bar but I don't drink and drive so I don't go. I would like to have a margarita from time to time but since I have to drive then I don't. I am forced to be sober because I DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE!!!

  • golonc Jul 9, 2008

    Prayers to the Dail family! What would happen if this was Mary Easley that was hit? Would someone take notice you think and do something about the penalties for drinking and driving?

  • Mom of two Jul 9, 2008

    Stricter laws are needed for dwi and a few other things. Thank God she is ok.

  • Scubagirl Jul 9, 2008

    I also think that when they are arrested for dd they should be REQUIRED to spend the night in jail and not get out by seeing a magistrate. Straight to jail no questions asked! Might not do much in long run but will take care of those idiots who get popped for dd, taken to jail then released only to be arrested again later that night.

  • GinkgoPhyta Jul 9, 2008

    Drunk drivers make me (explicit word). There needs to be harsher punishment for those that drive over a certain limit. Maybe a tier system for BACs.

    Too many of these destructive drunk drivers are slipping through the cracks of the justice system. It is time to start cleaning up our roads. Too many innocent lifes have already been lost.

  • winemaker81 Jul 9, 2008

    "All the Government has to do is pass a law that says no alcohol behind the wheel or you go to jail. That will awaken people. Forget about breathlizer tests to see if you are sober. Its that easy, wonder why they won't do that?" -- OrdinaryCitizen

    Please tell me you're joking!

    Laws do nothing! Enforcement does! The police catch drunks and the courts let 'em go. Change that and the situation will have a chance to improve.

  • winemaker81 Jul 9, 2008

    "When are they going to start putting people in jail for driving without a license and DUI when people aren't hurt? Why do we have to wait until someone dies before putting the idiots away?" -- carolinaalabamadog

    When defense lawyers stop making money getting drunk drivers off, and the DAs & judges start worrying about justice instead of collecting court costs and clearing their case load. Translation: Never.

  • TheAdmiral Jul 9, 2008

    And the judicial system will keep throwing out DUI and DWI cases on technicalities until this woman has finally been killed by one.