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UPDATE – 2/26

We would like to clarify – that we requested the accident “investigation” report from the Shallotte Police Department Thursday – and they told there wasn’t one. In a news release from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office earlier this week it said SPD was conducting an investigatioon of the accident.

There was also an “accident report” that we did get a copy of earlier this week. It showed where the accident happened, who was involved, and how fast she was going.

Our question for SPD is – if the department is conducting an investigation into the accident – why isn’t there documentation to show what it found?

Scott Pickey
News Director


New information about the Brunswick County Sheriff’s deputy who wrecked her car going 100 miles per hour on US 17 in Shallotte last week.

Today we learned that not only was Samantha Lewis doing 100 where the speed limit was 60, but she was also talking on her cell phone to one of the deputies she was trying to pass. At some point the off-duty deputy lost control of her new Mustang, ran into a ditch and flipped her car for more than 400 feet.

A lot of you have written in on-line asking why Lewis hasn’t been charged yet. Shallotte Police Chief Rodney Gause explained why.

“I’ve been doing this for 27 years. I wouldn’t write nobody a citation while they’re on life support or got oxygen,” Gause said. “My heart goes out to her. My prayer goes out to her. And we’re going to treat her like anybody else. She’s not getting any special treatment. When the time’s right, that’s when we’ll do the citation.”

Gause says Shallotte Police will likely charge Lewis with careless and reckless driving, which could mean she’ll lose her licence for at least 60 days.

Lewis had to go back into surgery today. Right now her fellow officers in Brunswick County are focusing on her recovery.

The case apparently remains under investigation. We will stay on it and bring you additional details as we get them.

Comment on this Story

  • Brunswick County Native

    I have lived in Brunswick County my whole life and I don’t know one person in law enforcement…and not many in politics that I can say I trust or is on the up and up! The difference in a law enforcement officer and a UPS driver is the UPS driver is not going to be giving anyone a ticket for breaking the same laws he does!!! I have a few words for everyone in the GOOD OLE PARTY.


    That’s what both Ingram and Salt should have on their sign’s. Just a few short years ago both swore to uphold the Dem. party. (Sound’s like they lied to me!) Ronald may have made some wrong choices while in office but it was clear which side he’d be on.

    My vote is going to Mr. Louie Lewis!!!!

    I’m not so much concerned with Ms. Lewis being charged she was off duty. Who were the
    deputy(s) she was passing and why was she having to drive so fast to get around them? Are they still on the tax payer’s payroll?? HUH MR. INGRAM??????

    Ms. Lewis a hope you have quick recovery and I feel for you being put in the middle of this it is clearly about the election not you.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    “…I hope that she is treated the same way you or I would by the court and DMV…”

  • Guestomg

    “and risking your life for complete strangers–even the ones on this message board.”

    You have got to be joking. SHE risked ALL OUR lives by driving 100 mph on a public highway and we are suppose to THANK HER? I am just glad that no one else was injured except her. She could have killed someone, yeah then how would all you supporters react?

    I am willing to BET this was not the first time she drove at excessive speeds while OFF duty either.

    I Thank police officers that obey the laws they are suppose to uphold, NOT the ones that abuse their positions.

  • WilmMan

    she deserves some time off without pay, maybe a demotion and transfer….but getting fired is a little extreme

  • 5686

    Ms.Lewis is a great Dep. She has done nothing wrong but get in to an accident. Everyone is worried about charging her but no one is worried about her well being. She needs prayers not criticism, and about the speed no one was with her and no one has heard it come out of anyones mouth about how fast she was going except speculations that Shallotte Police made of how fast she was going. Here say is a big factor in this accident! Im going to keep praying for Samantha, and her family. Please get better!

  • DeputiesWife83

    Age has nothing to do with the training you get to become an officer!! If your 20, 30 or 40, you still go through the same training a 24 year old does! My husband is 24 and an officer. Every person is different when it comes to maturity. It’s not right to stereotype this matter. Yes, she made a mistake with talking on the phone and speeding. And should be punished just like the rest of us will. I think Sheriff Ingram will make the right decision!!
    And here is a website for your questions!


  • Guest435

    Truth be known, a computer under the dash will tell the speed the car was running before, during and at impact. It also tells whether a seatbelt was worn or not. That computer tells a lot about you and your car or truck. All they have to do is reason a system check to find out. By the way…. I personally seen them drag race from traffic lights. So I fill this is a cover up…Sorry.

  • Guest1020

    You must be 21 years old to become a Law Enforcement officer.. You must be a high school graduate and enroll and graduate from Basic Law Enforcement Training which is done through the community colleges.

    I’ve been an LEO for several years and I work beside some great 21 years old men and women.. Just because they are 21 doesn’t mean they can’t do the job.. Look the military age requirement is 18 yrs old, again being prior military, I worked with some great 18-19 years old.. Even with federal law enforcement (FBI,DEA,etc) must be 21 years old..

  • LEO Too

    When she is well, she should be charged just as any other, plus she should be fired from her job. Conduct unbecoming an officer!

  • guesty

    She has done nothing wrong? Really?? Let’s recap. There were two other LEO’s that witnessed the accident and said she passed them while they were doing highway speed. Her car FLEW for more than 400 feet. Do a little math and even you can see she was going extremely fast.

  • Guest33

    Deputy Lewis, thank you for answering a higher calling, taking that oath, and risking your life for complete strangers–even the ones on this message board. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but as a Soldier and a former LEO, things like this constantly remind me that sometimes the sheep mistake the sheepdog for the wolf. Keep your head up and good luck on your recovery.

  • Grand Old Party

    I assumed whoever the sheriff was he was on the side of the people he serves. I was unware he should only serve the dems. You seem to have a lot of concerns, maybe you should make a run for the office and stop your crying. Which side??? Wow!!

  • anne

    She made a mistake? A mistake that may cost her life, but she could have injured or killed someone else. What she did was stupid! Hopefully she will recover and she will move on but justice needs to be served. Law enforcement has my full respect. They put their lives on the line every day so that I may be safe, but that does not excuse them from being responsible for stupid behavior. Whether they like it or not, they are held to a higher standard and their colleagues should be willing to hold them accountable instead of making excuses. If this was an “ordinary” citizen out there, they would be prosecuted and we need to hold the same standards for her.

  • Sarah

    This officer was only 24?? What kind of education does she have? Does not seem she is old enough to be a sheriff deputy.No wonder she was speeding down the road chatting it up with her buddies.
    What are the requirements to be a sheriff deputy in NC? High school diploma and BLE school? Can she have enough life experience to take on a job like this? Evidently not in this case. I do hope she recovers from her injuries and pray for her and her family,. She should be treated as any other young adult on the road.Driving is a privilege not a right. She should also be fired for her lack of professional behavior.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    The reason I remained silent was because of a similar incident about thirty-four years in my past, the only differences being that I didn’t wreck and the state trooper who stumbled upon my buddy and I and un-invitedly joined the phony pursuit we had set up to see how fast my new car would go, didn’t report it.

    Reading some of these posts, you’d think that this woman should be fired and sent to prison after being placed in the stocks in downtown Shallotte for a month.

    So let me give you some things to think about it.

    1. Yes, law enforcement officers are a tight-knit community and sometimes on a lark, a group of officers will do something among themselves that goes awry…..exactly the same behavior you find among doctors, nurses, military, or any other people who face an incredible amount of stress, risk, and exposure to death in their day-to-day jobs.

    2. If this deputy felt she was putting someone else’s life in danger, she would never have done it. I doubt she would have tried this at 5:00 PM in rush-hour traffic. She has likely driven fast in training or the performance of her duties, and thought there was little risk in attempting this passing maneuver. But this time, something went wrong….the EXACT same thing that has happened to every single one of you whoever caused an accident in your life. You thought it was routine and no problem, you had done it a thousand times, but something went horribly wrong.

    3. She is already paying a severe price. She nearly killed herself and is in the hospital for a long stay. She totaled her brand new car and may face a battle trying to get the insurance company to cover it due to the publicity surrounding this case. She and possibly her fellow deputies will be facing unpaid time off. In her case, it could be as long as her driver’s license suspension. If the sheriff has a mind to, she might even be fired.

    I don’t think she should be fired. Oh, she screwed up ROYALLY, and she’d be lacking about five pounds of butt and be in tears by the time I got through with her, were I here boss, but the bottom line to this entire issue is….she made a big mistake.

    Now, think back to your life and tell me that you never made a mistake that you overcame and were all the better for it. I know I did. Nothing related to the fake high-speed chase, but I had another incident early in my career where I came within a hair’s width of being told, “Adios.” It was entirely my fault. Looking back on it with the wisdom of age, I probably SHOULD have been fired.

    When I retired, however, I was held in high esteem and considered one of the best. I would never have reached that point if someone hadn’t given me another chance to grow up. Deputy Lewis is about ten years smarter than she was a week ago, and now knows, “Even simple things can go wrong – plan accordingly.”

    In the absence of other indicators, there is no way that you can look at this one incident and conclude that Lewis has poor judgment. Sure, she did in this one incident, but does that mean the she’s a Foxtrot Uniform of no value?

    I think not.

    I hope she recovers without disabilities, I hope she keeps her job, I hope that she is treated the same way you or I would by the court and DMV….and I hope that the insurance company REFUSES to pay for the car and she gets hit incredibly hard in the wallet to teach her the idiocy of her actions…in this one case.

    Hang in there, Lewis. Had you been in a Gran Fury instead of a Mustang, you’d be out on patrol right now. ;)

  • Lin

    This kind of reckless behavior could have caused death or injury to innocent people in the area. Law enforcement officers should be the ones to set good examples. I hope that this young lady recovers and is kept off of the police force for the good of all our citizens.

  • Guest33

    Yes, I am thanking her. Not for using poor judgment in this incident, but for having the courage to choose a profession that puts her at constant risk, in order to protect others. Someone has to show her that not everyone believes she is the scum of the earth. Read some of the other stories on this site. She’s speeding, gets in a single car accident, and you’d think she raped a child. Wait, there was an officer accused of that, but no one paid attention. Make sense to you? How would you feel if everyone tried to crucify you for one mistake? Get off of your thrown. “ALL OUR” lives weren’t at risk. Yeah someone could have been killed, but no one was; stop sensationalizing. As many have in the LE community have said, she’ll get her punishment; we’ve seen it all before.

  • Guest730

    Well actually her job is our business, it seems that the majority of Brunswick County residents pay taxes and a small percentage of those taxes pays her salary, and their salaries are public record. The reason this is getting so much publicity is because she is a deputy. She knew when she took the job that if someone in Law Enforcement makes a mistake it will go public.
    No one is calling her a bad person but the mistake that she made makes her look bad because of what she does for a living. I hope she has a speedy recovery. I know she probably wishes that night turned out different. Soon this will pass and be old news I just hope others will learn from her mistake but they won’t and it will happen again. I think they need to look further into the other two deputies that were on the road with her, we all know she made a mistake but I think they might have been involved.

  • WilmMan

    And when you get your drivers license you also take an “oath” to obey all the laws of the road. How many times have you broken that oath.

    As far as her working at FedEx or UPS, I seriously doubt she would lose her job. This was done when she was off duty. Now, if she were on duty and goofing off, then yeah I think she would lose her job…just like the UPS or FedEx guy.

  • Guest874

    Well WilmMan I probably have broken alot of Oaths in my life but the fact is she is an officer of the law who enforces those laws, (I DON’T) If she keeps her job I hope she doesn’t ticket someone for C&R or speeding when she is guilty of the same thing.

  • WilmMan

    If she get’s charged, then there is no reason why she cannot still cite someone else for doing the same thing. What she did does not constitute her losing her job so she should be allowed to fully enforce the laws, even the one she broke.

  • guest424

    The fact is that she took an Oath to uphold all North Carolina State Laws. Fozbot you make it sound like she is going to be charged with an infraction, when in fact it is a misdemeanor. It is a serious offense, and she should lose her license and her job. She may not have been under the influence but she was talking on the phone while driving at a high speed in a new car. And maybe you can tell me this since you are an officer. How many sworn deputies do you know work at the sheriff’s office without a license??? Another point that you might want to recheck if she worked for FedEx or UPS she would be gone.

  • Guest09876501234

    Wasn’t there a Deputy fired for traveling an excess of 100 mph in Boiling Spring Lakes a while back in his patrol car. How is termination excessive?

  • Dragon

    “Gause says Shallotte Police will likely charge Lewis with careless and wreckless driving…” I believe the word you are looking for there is “reckless”, since the incident definitely was not “wreck-less”…

  • guest1974

    The article does not specify whether or not a report has been done, only that a citation has not been issued as of yet. I’m sure a report has been made. I’m sure if the news media wants a copy, they can certainly have one…it is public record. And I am not taking any sides in this issue, just stating the facts.

  • Guest350

    I don’t believe what I just read. A person wrecks a new car going 100 mph in a 60 mph zone, nearly kills herself, and the investigating officer didn’t make a report??? And, if there was, why was a copy not given to WWAY? This place is unbelieveable as far as “law enforcement” goes.

  • Liter of Cola

    I am so amazed by the blood thirsty, hangem high postings about this Deputy. Does the word compassion have any meaning to you people? She has crashed her car, she has injured her own self and may have ended her career. No other person has suffered any loss of property, life or limb. This event has effected no one but her. Bottom line people….”Move along…there is nothing to see here”….

  • nuts

    ill agree!!!

  • Guest2010

    For the last few days I have watched people write all kinds of things about this incident and there seems to be a few things missing. WWAYTV3 is stating that the "sheriff’s deputy wrecked her car going 100 miles per hour". How do they or anyone else know for a fact that she was going 100 mph, were there other people on the road that night that saw her, was she caught on radar, was she being paced by an officer or did she admit to how fast she was going??? No it was only reported thats how fast she was going. There are ways of measuring the distance of a vehicle that left the roadway skidded or rolled a certain number of feet and other factors that have to be considered to get an approximated speed if all the factors are calculated correctly. Did something go wrong with her car? Did a tire blow out? Did an animal run out in front of her? All factors. Now do any of you know how fast she was really going? NO YOU DON’T! That is why MOST of the time when there is a single vehicle accident like this, were the driver is charged with careless and reckless operation (but was that her intent) when it enters our court system more times than not it gets dismissed, It happens everyday. She may have been speeding, who doesn’t on hwy 17 day or night. How far will your car skid or roll at 60,70 or 80 miles per hour??? Deputy Lewis was off duty her shift had not worked in three days,Deputy Lewis was driving her 2010 Mustang that she was paying for, There was not anyone else involved. There were no families returning from dinner or public citizens put in danger. There is only Deputy Lewis laying in a hospital bed with all the physical and emotional scars that she will live with long after you have forgotten her name. The only reason Deputy Lewis has stayed in the headlines of WWAY TV3 is the fact that she is a Brunswick County Deputy Sheriff and it is an election year. If this isn’t true tell me why the McKee lady that was charged with Felony Hit and Run and DWI after crashing her vehicle into another vehicle seriously injuring a small child and the father who later died from his injuries on pickett road last Saturday night was not reported on as much as Deputy Lewis has been??? Politics should not be a factor in the outcome of Deputy Lewis’ fate. Deputy Lewis is and has been a very good officer with more integrity and intelligence than most people reading this and it should be a crime to be using her as a political jab against one of the best Sheriff’s in this state.

  • fozbot98

    Why hasn’t the wreck in Shallotte Point been covered like this? That lady was impaired, killed one, seriously injured a child and fled the scene and she was in her own car. Oh, that’s right. She doesn’ work for the Sheriff’s Office.

    Just general information, a traveline between 60 and 85 mph, will skid between 250 and 300 feet.

  • really…

    Just because no one else was involved in this incident doesn’t mean no one else was in danger. How do you know that the weren’y any families returning from dinner on that road? Just because no one was hit doesn’t mean they weren’t there. Besides, if nothing else she was endangering the cops she was trying to pass since she could have lost control and hit them instead of going off the road.

  • jrm

    I want to thank you for stating many things that most people do not realize what law enforcement do. Yes they are judged on everything they do and mostly by the public. Just wanted to say thank you to all the people who actually care that an officer got hurt. Praying for a speedy recovery Samantha.

  • JS

    this person is a law enforcement officer and swore an oath to uphold the law. But why she did what she did was a childish prank.
    Now is the time for our legislature to BAN cell phone use in a moving automobile. Perfect example of a law needing to be enacted ASAP.
    While the young lady is seriously injured and it is sad as to the possible outcome, now is the time for correction and upgrading in the BCSO.
    Take a hint folks and clean up your behavior

  • fozbot98

    First, there is an invertigation report; done by Shallotte PD, an outside agency, not the sheriff’s office.

    Second, charging her with careless and reckless driving is normal in any case like this. I have taken many, many wrecks in my years as an officer and that is one of the most common charges I write. I have written people I clocked on RADAR at 100+ for C&R. Why is she supposed to be different?

    Third, the 60 day revocation will come from DMV. Any additional revocation would come from the court. DMV doesn’t care who you are, if you are convicted of a driving offense that warrants revocation, they will take your license. I recently charged a 16 y/o with willful speed competition and he lost his license at the hands of the DMV. Not the judge. The DMV.

    And lastly. You have a problem with her keeping her job. Let’s say for instance she worked for, UPS, FedEx or Dominos. All require a license to deliver. Each one of these employers would evaluate her past performance as an employee and place her somewhere else in the organization to allow her to keep working. She’s not special. She’s human. She wasn’t under the influence of an impairing substance. She was speeding. She messed up.

    Yes I do know Samantha but I do not condone in any way her driving that fast. There is no excuse for it. It was stupid. However, termination is excessive.

  • First off, I do wish Samantha the best. As far as the sheriffs dept. goes, it sounds very fishy. She was off duty and passing deputies at 100 miles per hour. No one will say why. There is no investigation report. They are only charging her with careless and wreckless driving. (a slap on the wrist) If I drove 40 mph over the speed limit, they would throw the book at me. Shes only gonna lose her licence for 60 days? come on. What a joke. She wont lose her job. Theyll put her behind a desk for awhile, and shell be back in a squad car within a year. Yet they say they will treat her like anyone else. Sounds corrupt to me! I do hope she recovers well, but I hope she learns a valuble lesson.

  • diane love

    I’m out every night,in my line of work. At the same location every night, I see the same thing officers ,county and state too. They go speeding by with no lights or sirens,you can hear them coming before they ever get to where you can see them , then they are a flash as they go by. There is no need to do such excessive speeds even if on a call. Its to dangerous on the roads , we have an overpopulation of deer, that dont know our laws, they are suicidal.our county officers are doing better, now ,but they need to slow their speed down. they dont have pilots license’s. remember the aircraft that flew into the building in Texas only cruised @115mph.

  • dckc

    Everytime something happens in this county..everybody has to gossip & make speculations. How about this..She is an officer of the law, a very respectable person & is HUMAN just like everyone else.She is by no means a bad person.She made a bad choice but it was her choice. If this were anyone else…it would be somewhere in the front section of the beacon & that would be it but you let it be a deputy,etc & everyone has to stay in their business. It is done & over with & is NONE of anyone’s business now except her friends & family. Grow up & move on.It was stated that she would be treated like anyone else…hell, I can’t tell.You’re still talking about it on here & everywhere else aren’t you??Leave her alone, you has to pay for her mistake enough by the loss of her new car & her permanent scars both physically & mentally. Sam, you are in our prayers & we hope you recover soon. Life is irreplacable..you weren’t with her, you don’t know what happened so shut your mouths. It shows how truly ignorant the majority of Brunswick county RESIDENTS really are!Oh & last but not least, what happens w/ her job,etc. is really nobody’s business, that is between her & her supervisors.

  • tam

    As a resident of brunswick county thats always on the highway day or night,I see many of our state and local law enforcement driving at very high speeds,with no lights an sirens an I see very many of them on their cell phones, leaning over an talking on them, maybe if they did less talking on them an slowing there speed down maybe they could prevent a lot of these deadly accidents that occur on our many roads especially highway 17. An was the officer she was talking with did they have there blue lights on trying to stop her??? I do hope she has a speedy recovery an has leaned not to speed.Maybe she can educate her fellow speeding.


    Not racing my a**. I f that had been someone in the general public they would have to look at the charges while on life support or oxygen. The last time I checked you would loose your licence’s for a year at least for all of that, unless the 100+,talking on your cell phone and putting other peoples lives at risk doesn’t matter to Chief Gause. 60 DAY’S BULL SH*T

  • Law Enforcements Daughter

    For the “Glass House” people of Brunswick County..You all sure do throw some pretty big stones. Thats ok though, YES Samantha made a mistake, YES she should be treated as any of YOU would for driving over the speed limit, wrecking her own personal vehicle and almost killing herself. But who are to you to decide what she should endure for her mistake? Exactly, You arent. Your comments toward the BCSD and Dep. Lewis are derogatory and slanderous but that too is OK. You dont deserve their anger but instead their pity…Despite your judgemental opinions and “cut throat” ideas against Dep.Lewis and the others, rest assured that the next time you dial 911 and your Emergency Situation requires them, they will come, to Serve and Protect no matter how deep your words have cut. It may even be Deputy Lewis who is called to your aid.


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