Local News

Motorist hit by alleged drunk motorcyclist lost daughter to drunk driver

Posted July 8, 2008 5:35 p.m. EDT
Updated July 9, 2008 7:32 p.m. EDT

— The state Highway Patrol says Arthur Tilley was drunk Monday night when deputies chased him through Durham County. His motorcycle slammed into a car. The woman in that car endured her own tragedy with a drunk driver years ago.

A motorcycle driven by Tilley was going 110 mph when it hit Sherry Dail's Saturn near Bahama Road and Preston Andrews Road.

"You've been hit once and now you've been hit again,” said Greg Dail, husband of victim.

Durham County deputies had tried to pull over Tilley, 46, for speeding on 501 North just before 10:30 p.m.

After about a 5 minute chase, Tilley crashed into the Saturn.

Tilley was thrown off the bike and taken to Duke University Hospital.

Sherry Dail was also transported to the hospital. She is expected to be OK.

"She's very sore, banged up and bruised, but she's alive,” Greg Dail said.

Her 4-year-old daughter, Megan, died in a drunken driving wreck in Durham in 1997.

"It brings back a lot of memories. We hope time heals a lot of wounds,” Greg Dail said.

Investigators said Timothy Blackwell was drunk and high on heroin when his pickup slammed into the Dail's minivan.

Blackwell was convicted of first-degree murder, but the conviction was later overturned. Four years ago, he was retried, found guilty and sentenced to up to 50 years in prison.

In Monday night's crash, Sherry Dail sprained her neck, has hip injuries and bumps and bruises on her forearms.

"You see all the blue lights, so immediately you get more tense,” said Greg Dail.

At the time of the crash that killed Megan Dial, Blackwell had five previous convictions for driving under the influence or driving while impaired, along with 20 convictions for driving with a revoked license.

Tilley also has a prior drunk driving conviction, the Highway Patrol said.

"I'd like to see more enforcement, much more enforcement,” Greg Dail said.

Despite all his family has been through, Greg Dail said he is fortunate to not have lost more.

"I'm lucky. I've got a wife ... (and) four kids she can go home to," Greg Dail said.

The Highway Patrol said Tilley was listed Wednesday in serious condition at Duke University Hospital.

Tilley was noted as having a strong odor of alcohol and is subject to being charged with: DWI. Fleeing to elude arrest, speeding, careless and reckless driving, failure to stop for blue light and siren and running a stop light, the Highway Patrol said.