Local News

Raleigh couple killed in Georgia crash

Posted July 6, 2015

Marvin Lynch

— A Raleigh couple died Sunday in a crash in suburban Atlanta, authorities said.

Willie Mae Hatley, 65, and Vernon Webster Hatley, 67, were on their way to church with Cora Rhodes Lyles, 65, of Stone Mountain, Ga., when an SUV ran a red light and slammed into their vehicle in Lithonia, Ga., killing all three.

WGCL-TV, a CBS affiliate in Atlanta, reported that the SUV driver then tried to flee the scene in a pickup truck as the truck driver tried to lend assistance to the crash victims.

Witnesses restrained the SUV driver until police arrived, WGCL reported.

Marvin Lynch, 27, has been charged with three counts of vehicular homicide, driving while impaired, hit and run and failure to obey a red light.

Vern Hatley was transportation director for the Wake County Public School System when he pleaded guilty in 2005 to taking part in a kickback scheme involving a Wilson-based bus parts supplier. The scheme, which also involved other school district employees, cost the district at least $5 million, although the district later recouped the money when the parts company was ordered to pay restitution. Hatley served his sentence and was released from prison in 2012.


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  • Richard Hertz Jul 7, 2015
    user avatar

    Black lives matter well not to mr lynch.
    He was willing to allow his victims to just die there at the scene.
    He tried to flee but thank goodness some one was there to prevent that.

  • Sheraldine Whitley Lewis Jul 7, 2015
    user avatar

    Well what more did we expect..I saw it coming and taking it down would be great,but WRAL has already reopened something that was not even necessary..Their lives were taken and it was more to their life than the news you chose to talk about.

  • Jason Starcommand Jul 7, 2015
    user avatar

    Leave it to WRAL to write more about the victim's past than the killer's.

  • Mike Hill Jul 7, 2015
    user avatar

    This reminds me of an old saying, the press always has the last word in the public forum. To try to define a life by one mistake is appalling. Have a little sympathy WRAL, for the victims and their families. I hope the family reads the comments as well as the article.

  • Jacob Smith Jul 6, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    WRAL will make good on this in their typical fashion - they will slightly change the headline and re-publish the article without the last paragraph OR the comments.

  • Vickie Riggsbee Jul 6, 2015
    user avatar

    I taught with Mrs. Willie Mae Hatley for several years at East Wake Middle School. She was an excellent teacher and colleague, plus a wonderful and supportive friend. Mrs. Hatley retired just a few days ago. Our community has lost one of its best. I ask that WRAL add a little more to the story, than Mr. Hatley's past. The Hatleys were so much more than that.

  • H Lee Dawson Jul 6, 2015
    user avatar

    Does the phrase "muck raking journalism" ring a bell? Why isn't WRAL editing the last paragraph out? Guess they don't pay attention to the comments!

  • Sherrill Craig Jul 6, 2015
    user avatar

    Dear WRAL

    Remove the last paragraph PLEAE. Mt Hatley paid his due and he was released in 2012. It serves nothing about his tragic death. It is sad that you churn up old news to besmirch a tragic death. You should be ashamed of yourself, but for WRAL it is par for the course,

  • Jim Buchanan Jul 6, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I ask myself that same question on viral articles these days!!

  • Jameka Williams Jul 6, 2015
    user avatar

    I too am disgusted. What does something this man did years ago have to do with the fact that he was just killed in an accident? Have some sympathy! This needs to be edited ASAP!