Local News

Family, friends remember women killed by car

Posted June 6, 2010 8:52 a.m. EDT
Updated June 8, 2010 8:03 p.m. EDT

— A 34-year-old Kenly man has been charged in connection with the deaths of two female pedestrians who were struck by a vehicle in Wilson early Sunday.

Police said that Jimmy Vincent Coleman, of West First Street, was driving a vehicle that hit the women in the 3400 block of Raleigh Road Parkway.

The victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Family members identified them as 25-year-old Amie Sullivan and 22-year-old Nikki Whitley.

“She will be missed because she was like a daughter to me,” Sullivan's aunt, Zebbra Kriger, said. "She was just an awesome person. She would do anything for anybody. She was outgoing. She was fun. She was loving. Everybody loved her."

Kriger was among the people who visited a makeshift memorial Sunday that was set up at the site of the collision. Lisa Whitley, Nikki's mother, also came by to see the flowers and cards.

"She always had a beautiful smile, even when she was little," Lisa Whitley said of her daughter.

Whitley said she learned of her daughter's death shortly after the crash. She said her daughter worked at a nearby Italian restaurant. Scott Fitzgerald, a co-worker at the restaurant, also stopped by the crash site Sunday to pay his respects.

“She was a waitress there. She was a really sweet kid. She always had a smile on her face, just a good kid,” Fitzgerald said.

Whitley's family said she worked late at the restaurant Saturday and then met Sullivan for dinner. It was after that, they family says, the women decided to walk home. They were struck by Coleman's car around 4:20 a.m., police said.

"I'm very angry at the fact that somebody would get behind the wheel and take somebody's heart away," Lisa Whitley said.

Kriger said her family is holding back judgment on Coleman until they learn more about what happened.

“We just want his family to know that we are not angry," she said. "We don't know what the situation is. We have no anger toward him because, right now, he is in enough pain himself."

Coleman was charged with two counts of felony death by motor vehicle and one count of driving with a revoked license. He was being held Sunday in the Wilson County jail under a $100,000 secured bond.

The investigation into the wreck is ongoing.

Coleman has convictions for burglary, vehicle break-ins and larceny from 1995 and 1996, according to state Department of Correction records.