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Woman Charged In Deadly Johnston Accident Did Not Have License

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SMITHFIELD, N.C. — Authorities in Johnston County have arrested a suspect in a fatal hit-and-run. According to court records, she did not have a valid driver's license.

Michael Thomas died Tuesday night when he was struck by a vehicle while walking along Barber Mill Road in Clayton. Another driver also hit Thomas and called 911.

Troopers with the state Highway Patrol received a tip Wednesday that the vehicle involved in the accident was at a residence on Wilson Jones Road in Johnston County. Troopers located the vehicle at the residence and later arrested 33-year-old Susanne McNicholas.

"She took my son's life," said Thomas' mother, Melisa Groomes, "She took my life and it's time that she paid for it."

"Thank you, God," said his father Buddy Thomas, "Because now she's not out there to do this to somebody else."

WRAL has learned that McNicholas has a long criminal history. She pleaded guilty to her second driving while impaired charge last February and she is currently on two years supervised probation. She was also ordered to surrender her license.

"The system is what caught her," said Thomas.

"But the system is also what let her get away," said Groomes, "There has got to be somehow some way to keep people like this from repeating what they're doing."

McNicholas is now charged with driving without a license or insurance in addition to felony hit-and-run and involuntary manslaughter stemming from Tuesday's accident. She is currently being held at the Johnston County Jail.

Thomas' family plan to hold a memorial service for Thomas in Carteret County.


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