This past Sunday a tragic accident took the lives of David and Trey Doolittle of New Hanover, North Carolina. They were stuck by a drunk driver during their morning bike ride. David Doolittle was killed instantly and his Trey son died a day later, 10 days before his 18th birthday.
WECT Wilmington reports that the driver, Thomas Grooms, was arrested at the scene and has been charged with felony death by motor vehicle and felony driving while impaired amongst others. The 63-year old driver crossed into the marked bike lane and struck the Doolittles. At the time of the accident neither David or Trey were wearing helmets.
WWAY reported that Rob Miller saw the accident.
“I went around these guys. There was no reason to slow down. There was no oncoming traffic. I just went around them, and the other guy didn’t. He went through them,” Miller said.
According to Miller, after the collision Grooms continued driving but was stopped only when Miller blocked the road with his car.
The accident occurred on River Road which has a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour. Star News Online is reporting that the tragic deaths have spurred local reaction to the situation on River Road. Some solutions to the traffic problem include reducing the speed limit, widening the road from two to four lanes and installing rumble strips by the bike lane to alert drivers. The Department of Transportation has begun an investigation into the accident and are expected to publish the results in 30 to 60 days.
This Sunday a memorial ride will be held for the Doolittles in Wilmington. The “Do Something for the Doolittles” ride starts at the Murray Middle school in Wilmington with the purpose of raising awareness for safety and drunk driving. The rider starts at 11:00 AM and donations are welcome with 100% going to the Doolittle family.
The New Hanover County Sheriffs Dept will be supporting this event with police escorts.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Tyler and Turner Doolittle Educational Fund – 15029 Superior Street, Charlotte NC, 28273.