ONLY ON 3: Driver on-scene when bicyclists were hit talks to WWAY

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Submitted: Wed, 04/06/2011 - 3:17pm

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – Since the accident Sunday that killed Trey and David Doolittle, many folks are searching for something positive amongst all the negativity.

There’s a person we have not heard from yet. He’s a good Samaritan who was on the scene of the accident and waited in the hospital with Trey and his family during the teen’s final hours. He was not a friend of the family. In fact, he did not know the Doolittles at all.

“Everybody might not have done that, but everyone should have done that,” Rob Miller said.

Miller was driving on River Road Sunday morning. He says he passed Trey and David Doolittle on their bikes, and when he looked back he could not believe what he saw.

“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.

Miller immediately called 911 and blocked the driver Highway Patrol identified as Thomas Grooms Jr. with his car.

“He was continuing to come towards me, and so I just made sure he couldn’t get around me,” Miller said. “I kind of hand gestured him back to the scene of the accident.”

Miller said although David and Trey were unconscious, he stayed by their sides while they waited for paramedics to arrive. He says he wanted Trey to know that someone was with him and he wasn’t alone.

“I was talking to him, and I hope he could hear me, ’cause that had to be comforting to know that someone’s there waiting with you on help,” Miller said.

Miller said he’s not a hero. He said he just did what anyone should do.

“It’s just a matter of… it’s moral fiber,” he said. “It’s what you should do. It’s a matter of acting on something that’s taking place right then and there. You just do it. Just do it.”

Miller said he wants Trey and David Doolittle’s friends and family to know that he does not think either of the cyclists suffered.

Trey’s friends have started a Facebook page in his honor. They’ve also organized a fundraiser in the Doolittles’ honor for Sunday at Murray Middle School from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Grooms is charged with felony death by motor vehicle, felony DWI and cocaine possession. Troopers have sent a blood sample to the SBI for tests.


  • Grateful RG says:

    That’s all I can think to say when I read this. Oh, God.

    Rob, thank you so much for turning around. Thank you so much for checking on David and Trey. Most of all, thank you so much for staying with Trey and comforting him. Nothing can make this loss feel better, but it does give some peace of mind knowing that Trey was not alone and was not awake and suffering. I know that you must be having an excruciatingly hard time dealing with what you witnessed. Please know that we all will be praying for you, too, and are eternally grateful!

  • Rob Miller says:

    I too am very grateful that I could be there for Trey and David. I’m truly honored to have been by their side in the presence of God. He speaks, walks and cares for others through me and you. Please don’t forget that and next time you have the chance, please show a complete stranger that you and God love them. I can’t Thank You enough and am so appreciative for your support and meaningful words of comfort.

    Peace and Love,
    Rob Miller

  • Impressive says:

    “Miller says Trey was unconscious, but he talked to Trey nevertheless just in case he could hear him. He says he kept telling Trey over and over, “You’re not alone. I’m here with you.” Miller says it’s what he would have wanted if something similar happened to him.

    The world needs more like you.

  • Rob Miller says:

    I assure you there are plenty of people like myself. Its just not everyday that they’re called upon to witness such a horrific tragedy. I sencerely appreciate your kind and heartfelt words of comfort.

    Peace and Love,
    Rob Miller

  • L. Powers says:

    Thank you Mr. Miller for your efforts. I feel certain the Doolittle family appreciates the compassion you showed their loved ones. If I were ever in such a situation, I would hope someone as caring as you would be there for me. You didn’t have to get involved, but you did and if more people would follow your example, society could regain its humanity in short order.

  • Rob Miller says:

    I wish that were true; however, we as christians are in a war zone everyday and you’ve probably experienced that feeling. Someone once told me, “As soon as you leave church grounds, you’re in the mission field.” So, I guess what i took from that was to spread love as often as you can. I don’t believe that we’re here to push religion on to others, but to show compassion and hopefully we can reveal Faith to atleast one person. I can’t Thank You enough for your precious words of comfort.

    Peace and Love,
    Rob Miller

  • cj says:

    I am so touched to hear about this kind man who turned around and did all he could possibly do.

    I am afraid to ask how many people passed on by, thinking it wasn’t their business?

    Thank you Mr. Miller for being there for that young man, rather than leaving him alone. You exemplify why GOD put us here – to worship him and Serve others. We could all learn something from you!

  • Rob Miller says:

    That’s so very true…I can tell you would have done the same for Trey and his Father, David. I think the main lesson from all of this, is to show a complete stranger that you actually do care for them. Your kindness will inevitably pass on. Thank You for your kind and ever so dear words of comfort.

    Peace and Love,
    Rob Miller

  • Concernmom says:

    Thank You for stopping. My husband was in a wreck back in December. A couple that was behind him stop to help and call me and stay. I am so greatful that they took the time to stop.Thank You so much we need more people in the world like you.

  • Rob Miller says:

    You are very welcome…I know there are a ton of people just like myself; although, I pray they are never called upon to witness such a tragety. I will keep you,your family and friends in my prayers always. Thank You for your support and kind words.

    Peace and Love,
    Rob Miller

  • GuestLee says:

    Mr. Miller, like you, my son witnessed a horrible accident a couple of years ago in which two men were killed instantly. He stayed at the scene and helped law enforcement, but the sights he witnessed that night still haunt him. I’m not sure he can ever fully recover from what he saw that night. I pray that you will be strengthened by the kind words of strangers who are so appreciative of your decision to stay by the sides of the victims. Thank you for caring and for sharing your faith.

  • Carol Kramer says:

    In this very sad story, at least someone (Mr. Miller) was there to help.

    I have to ask, though, does that photograph accurately depict River Road’s bike path? It’s just barely a shoulder and has no bike path markings. Seems to me that a bike path should be at least twice as wide and appropriately marked.

  • kathy says:

    Yes its accurate.
    Ive been many places on my bike, high traffic areas.
    I only rode river road once.
    Its the most dangerous road around.
    either on a bike or in a car, even walking.
    Bless you Mr Miller.

  • peevedcyclist says:

    That is an accurate depiction of that section, between Halyburton Memorial Pkwy and Cathay Road. It’s actually fairly tight there, not much more than 2 ft wide and maybe even less where they have the turn lanes at Halyburton. Toward either end (Snows Cut on the south end, Independence on the north) there are places that have better signage and the lane is a good 4 ft wide.

    Make no mistake, there are places that get a bit tricky. But for road cyclists, River Road is about the best thing we have in this county.

  • Denise says:

    For anyone who thinks that there is no proof that angels walk among us, they only have to read about your actions to know that indeed there are angels among us. You are a shining example of a Christian following his heart.

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