Local News

Prison guard faces DWI charge in fatal mo-ped wreck

Posted October 5, 2009 1:06 p.m. EDT
Updated October 5, 2009 7:32 p.m. EDT

— A state Department of Correction employee was charged Monday in a Sampson County wreck that killed a mo-ped operator, authorities said.

David Craig Wemyss, 52, of Warrenton, was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, driving while impaired and failing to reduce speed, said First Sgt. D.L. Hewitt of the state Highway Patrol. He was released from jail on a $10,000 bond.

Wemyss was southbound on U.S. Highway 421 outside of Clinton at about 12:10 a.m. Monday when his Ford Explorer hit a mo-ped from behind, Hewitt said. The SUV was traveling at about 55 mph at the time of the collision, he said.

The mo-ped operator, Bruce Lee Holder, 24, was thrown from the vehicle and died, Hewitt said. He said Wemyss drove for more than a mile after the collision with the mo-ped on the hood of his SUV before pulling over.

"(Wemyss) showed some impairment from some type of impairing substance," Hewitt said "It did not appear to be alcohol."

A breath test showed no alcohol in Wemyss' system, Hewitt said. Blood tests are pending.

Brenda Holder said her son was a sporting goods manager at the Walmart in Clinton and was on his way home from work when he was killed.

"He didn't drink. He didn't do drugs. He (did) his job," Brenda Holder said, adding that her son was saving money to buy a car so he wouldn't have to use a mo-ped to commute.

Officials said Wemyss, who was hired three months ago as a detention officer at Warren Correctional Institution, was on his way to a four-week training session at the North Carolina Justice Academy in Salemburg when the wreck occurred.

"If you're a guard, you wouldn't mess with drugs and alcohol or anything like that because you're around criminals enough," Brenda Holder said. "I think that's what he deserves. He should be put in there with them."