Local News

Woman charged with running down friend

Posted September 8, 2008

— A Dunn woman was charged Monday with felony hit-and-run, a day after a man was found critically injured in roadside ditch in Harnett County.

Amy Elizabeth Whitman, 25, also was charged with felony assault with intent to kill, driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving, and resisting, delaying or obstructing officers.

When Kevin West, 23, started walking home from a party Saturday night, Whitman took a van without permission and followed him, state troopers said. She crossed left of the center line of Brick Mill Road and struck West at about 10:15 p.m. There was no evidence she tried to brake, troopers said.

Whitman told the owner of the van that she had struck West, but when questioned by troopers, they said she claimed to have hit a deer.

"First, it was three deer. Then it was two deer," Trooper  Daniel Edwards said. "Then she stated she was so intoxicated she didn't remember what she hit."

Jennifer Cherry, West's older sister, said her family started looking for him when the Highway Patrol told them he might have been hit. They drove around for hours but only found him when they got out on foot.

"We just got out and walked up and down, and we heard him grunting," Cherry said.

Troopers said West was in a ditch 10 feet from the road, about 1 mile from from the wreck site and 1.5 miles from his home. It was noon before his family found him, Edwards said.

West was listed in critical but stable condition Monday at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

He was in a coma, and nearly every bone in the right side of his body – from his neck, back and ribs to his arm and leg – was crushed, Cherry said. A catheter drained blood off his brain, and he was on a ventilator.

"It's really bad. They don't know if he's going to wake up," Cherry said. "All he would say is, 'I love you, I love you.'"

Cherry said she believes that if Whitman – who had been friends with West and lived near him for five years – had told the truth, they could have found West sooner and he would have a better chance at survival.

"How could someone on purpose, if it was on purpose, just hit him like that and leave him there?" asked Cherry.

Whitman was being held in the Harnett County Detention Center under a $101,250 bond. She does not have a prior criminal record.

Cherry described her younger brother as a friendly guy who knows no strangers.

She said she hopes that he pulls through – especially for the sake of Alexis, his 5-year-old daughter.


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  • believer58 Sep 9, 2008

    This isn't murder, it was a horrible accident and she should be tried for manslaughter. No previous record. People make mistakes and in this case it was a horrible one, but no reason to put her away for life.

    A mistake?
    How fast would she have had to be going to have broken every single bone on the side that she struck him?
    She went after him.
    That's premeditation.
    She drove to where he was, crossed the center line to the other side of the road and struck him.
    That's attempted murder.

    Why do we continue to make excuses for criminals? No previous record? She ran down this young father and left him for dead. I don't care if she was an alter server on the Sunday before....she is a criminal now and should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. That is afterall, why we call it the l-a-w.

  • auntie4life Sep 9, 2008

    Not really a firend I would say!!

  • familyfour Sep 9, 2008

    The article SHOULD read "Woman charged with running down man", I would think that after you run over someone, you can't consider them a friend, anymore.

  • pebbles262004 Sep 9, 2008

    I do not understand how anyone could leave someone for dead in the middle of the night after they hit them..With friends like this who needs enemies???? My thoughts and prayers are with kevin's family I hope that he makes a full recovery. As for her she does not look like she is 25 if she is she has done way too much partying in those 25 years ...I do not know what the sentence should be for her but I do think she should get some time out of it at least ten years or more

  • pebbles262004 Sep 9, 2008

    It was no accident, she knew what she was doing. she's not alittle girl anymore!!!!!!!!

  • pmw Sep 9, 2008

    "Although a true responsible father to a 5 yr old would have been at home with his daughter at 10:15PM."

    Did you ever think she was on visitation weekend with her mother? He may not have custody of his daughter or limited custody and it may not have been his weekend with her. It is funny how people judge each other - not saying I have not been guilty of it myself from time to time but just making a note.

  • Dayum Sessy Sep 9, 2008

    Wow....... hope she gets what she deserves........ my thoughts and prayers are with Kevin and his family.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Sep 9, 2008

    10 years in women's prison should teach her a hard lesson. She could have killed this man. I hope he is improving each day.

  • dogsrule12cheek Sep 9, 2008

    sounds like she tried to run him down.

    I hope the best for him and his family.

  • StraightNifonged Sep 9, 2008

    This isn't murder, it was a horrible accident and she should be tried for manslaughter. No previous record. People make mistakes and in this case it was a horrible one, but no reason to put her away for life.