Local News

Man heartbroken over fatal crash at Smithfield Walmart

Posted October 3, 2011 2:43 p.m. EDT
Updated October 12, 2011 5:28 p.m. EDT

— A 95-year-old man who crashed a pickup truck into three women outside a Smithfield Walmart on Saturday, killing one of them, said Monday that he is heartbroken about what happened.

"My foot must have slipped off the brake," said Benjamin Moye, 95, of Newport News, Va.

Lois Shannon, 73, Debra Holmes, 53, and Jeanna Hawley, 35, all of Smithfield, were taken to Johnston County Memorial Hospital, where Shannon later died. Holmes and Hawley were in good condition Monday.

Moye, who was staying at his nephew's home in Clayton, went to the Walmart, on North Brightleaf Boulevard, for some milk. He said he was looking for a parking space when he hit the three women in the crosswalk.

"You don't forget that," he said, noting that he hasn't been able to sleep and has been having flashbacks of the wreck.

The Johnston County District Attorney's Office has asked the North Carolina State Highway Patrol to investigate the crash to determine if any charges should be filed.

"That's what it is, a terrible accident, for his part and for the other family as well. It's just bad," said Lt. Keith Powell of the Smithfield Police Department.

Moye said he's been driving since he was 15 and had never hit anything or anyone until Saturday. He said he doesn't think he should be charged in the case, and he doesn't think he should lose his license.

"(Older drivers) are just as good as any young ones," he said. "(They are) better than the young ones because they are more careful."

Moye wasn't injured in the crash.