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Tribute run honors Holly Springs runner who died after being hit

Posted April 30, 2015
Updated May 1, 2015

— Dozens walked, biked and ran for one of their own Thursday evening.

"He was a good man. If you were to meet Derek, his smile was infectious," said Mark Savoldi. "And ha, he would just make you feel good."

Savoldi went to church with Derek Macrae Davis, 37, who was killed after he was hit by a vehicle while on a run with his wife.

Davis was in the crosswalk at Holly Springs Road and Linksland Drive on April 20 when he was hit by a vehicle driven by Roberto Carlos Solis-Reyes. His wife was not injured.

Davis, who had four children between 3 and 11 years old, died one week after he was hit. He was a software engineer at SAS and served as the equivalent of an associate pastor at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Raleigh.

Runners in the Holly Springs Run Club gathered for a run in his honor.

"You can make a good thing from a bad situation," said runner Sue Horvick. "It could have been any of us. We run that road everyday. So I guess we're just kind of reclaiming it."

The run was also to raise awareness for motorists to safely share the road.

"Don't get too close, give us three feet, give us five feet, just give us some space," said cyclist Vinnie Bozich. "You never know when there's a rock ahead of us, a piece of glass we're trying to avoid."

Runners have created a makeshift memorial where Davis was hit by tying shoes to a utility pole.

His funeral will be held Friday morning.

Reyes' charges were upgraded on Monday following Davis' death. He is charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. after originally being cited for running a red light, failure to yield to a pedestrian in the crosswalk, failure to yield causing serious bodily injury, careless and reckless driving, and operating a vehicle with a permit while not being accompanied by a licensed driver.

Solis-Reyes, who was not hurt in the crash, is scheduled to appear in court May 19.


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  • Dorinda Hayes Apr 30, 2015
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    So sorry Derek lost his life. Wow, that is really sad.

  • Jim Buchanan Apr 30, 2015
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    Prayers to the families first!

    I must ask though, why was this kid driving at all? He was on a permit and knew that he was suppose to have a licensed driver with him yet did not. Now he faces all these charges and will have to live with his actions for the rest of his life. I feel sorry for this young man but only slightly. There was no excuse for him to be driving!! He could ride the bus, reschedule appts, etc.