Local News

Prison guard faces DWI charge in fatal mo-ped wreck

Posted October 5, 2009

— A state Department of Correction employee was charged Monday in a Sampson County wreck that killed a mo-ped operator, authorities said.

David Craig Wemyss, 52, of Warrenton, was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, driving while impaired and failing to reduce speed, said First Sgt. D.L. Hewitt of the state Highway Patrol. He was released from jail on a $10,000 bond.

Wemyss was southbound on U.S. Highway 421 outside of Clinton at about 12:10 a.m. Monday when his Ford Explorer hit a mo-ped from behind, Hewitt said. The SUV was traveling at about 55 mph at the time of the collision, he said.

Mo-ped rider killed on way home from work Mo-ped rider killed on way home from work

The mo-ped operator, Bruce Lee Holder, 24, was thrown from the vehicle and died, Hewitt said. He said Wemyss drove for more than a mile after the collision with the mo-ped on the hood of his SUV before pulling over.

"(Wemyss) showed some impairment from some type of impairing substance," Hewitt said "It did not appear to be alcohol."

A breath test showed no alcohol in Wemyss' system, Hewitt said. Blood tests are pending.

Brenda Holder said her son was a sporting goods manager at the Walmart in Clinton and was on his way home from work when he was killed.

"He didn't drink. He didn't do drugs. He (did) his job," Brenda Holder said, adding that her son was saving money to buy a car so he wouldn't have to use a mo-ped to commute.

Officials said Wemyss, who was hired three months ago as a detention officer at Warren Correctional Institution, was on his way to a four-week training session at the North Carolina Justice Academy in Salemburg when the wreck occurred.

"If you're a guard, you wouldn't mess with drugs and alcohol or anything like that because you're around criminals enough," Brenda Holder said. "I think that's what he deserves. He should be put in there with them."


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  • ezLikeSundayMorning Oct 6, 2009

    The difference is he wasn't drinking. If he is found to have been impaired by some recreational substance upgrade the charge. Both are bad, but there is a difference between getting drunk and taking medicine.

    As for mopeds, as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer you'll see more of them. The mopeds don't create the danger they are just more exposed to the danger created by high speed traffic.

  • gandalla Oct 6, 2009

    I bet there is going to be a line of people waiting for this guy at the jail or prison he is assigned too.
    On a lighter note, it is very disturbing to know that cops are the only bad law enforcement persons out there.

  • whateveryousay Oct 6, 2009

    As I have stated before, my ex is an LEO, and I feel as does he (we are friendly), that they should be held above reproach.

    SO if they choose to NOT play by the RULES they ought to be made examples of.

    So it wasn't alchol. K. Prescrips? Who cares. He was impaired. I don't care if he drank an entire bottle of Listerine, he was DWI, the blood test will show what it was, the charges will likely, hopefully be upgraded.... He killed someone.

  • alwayslovingu30 Oct 6, 2009

    He is A prison guard /state employee he is exempt from cetain laws &subject to get off the hook Alot Easier than average joe would be able to do

  • dugmeister Oct 6, 2009

    timbo - it isn't YOUR road!!!!!!!!!!! We share roads in this country. If it wasn't illegal for him to be on the road - then he had every right to be there.

  • whateveryousay Oct 6, 2009

    Well... it is considered a'scooter', it doesn't have a clutch. It is huge though, I can't handle it. Too big for me. So I suppose it's the class of the bike itself.

    50cc, 100cc, 125cc, 150cc, 200cc, 250cc, and bigger, even not being an actual motorcycle.

    We were not even allowed to leave ScooterZ Inc. Without them taking it to the DMV office for the sticker, and inspection first. We were required to have ins etc.. they treat it like a motorcycle, the 50 is actually 49cc those are the little dangerous ones.

    A person with a DUI DWI conviction can buy and ride one with out question.

  • Timbo Oct 6, 2009

    whateveryousay, mopeds, not motorcycles, are not required to be licensed, nor is the owner required to have insurance. Technically, an unlicensed moped is not supposed to go over 35MPH. If they do, they can be ticketed.

  • whateveryousay Oct 6, 2009

    My husband has a full size 125, it is street and hwy legal, has to have insurance, tags, registration, plates, etc. And he also has to have a Motocycle endorsement to ride it. It has a top speed of 75mph. weighs 335lbs. is VERY well lit at night. We also have two suv's. He uses it when the weather permits to go to work.

    He takes back roads, NEVER rides on the interstate, or major HWY's like 421, and not at night ( barring a trip to Walgreens for something about a mile away)

    50cc you need nothing more than the key to start it.

  • whateveryousay Oct 6, 2009

    Once it's released what he was infact'impaired' by, the charges will be upgraded. At this point,it is just alleged, based on observation of the arresting officer.

    He will get charged with all the goods, as he should when the toxicology reports come in. Can't hide what's in the blood.

    He drug the man's 'moped' for a freeakin' mile, just wait for the update..... hydrocodone, valium, oxy, percocet, something like that

  • Timbo Oct 6, 2009

    "Yes moped are dangerous and some can be a nuisance but I do not knock them."

    Not only are they a nuisance, they don't carry insurance and they are *NOT* well lit for night driving on a road where the speed limit it 55MPH.

    Sorry, but they should not be on the road, period. I don't care if the owner has no other way to get to work.