Jury selection underway for man charged with killing father and son cyclists

JACKSONVILLE, NC (WWAY) -- Attorneys hope they'll have a jury in place by the end of tomorrow in the case of a man accused of killing father and son cyclists.

Thomas Grooms is charged with two counts of second degree murder and driving while impaired. Troopers say Grooms hit and killed David Doolittle and his 17-year-old son Trey last April as they biked on River Road in Wilmington.

Because of publicity attorneys are in Jacksonville chosing the jury. District Attorney Ben David tells WWAY the prosecution has passed all jurors. Now it's the defense's turn.

Opening arguments are expected Wednesday in Wilmington.

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The cyclists who ride on River Rd do it because they are training for races. River Rd is a road where you can go a good distance without having to stop at stoplights allowing you to get up to a decent speed. They know it's dangerous but they love the sport so much they take their chances. Most riders on River Rd are not just out joy riding on their bikes. So in that regard there really are no other roads that are suitable here in Wilmington. So as long as there are races, bicyclists are going to be training on River Rd. Everyone knows they are there so just be watchful.

This is for the negative comments about cyclist. I am a cyclist and also drive a Semi. So what you are telling me that I shouldn't slow down in my Semi and move over if your in my way in your car. The bigger vehicle prevails according to you, so get out of my way or get run over. That is some attitude to have. We are human not some animal that crossed in front of the road for road kill. Share the road, I share the road with cars in my Semi so you can with cyclists.

...in this very real world of "sh*t happens", riding on River Rd. is asking for it. People are ever more distracted these days with cell phones, spilling coffee, putting on makeup, reveiwing the Journal, tuning the radio, handling the kids and on and on and on (not to even mention drunks). Add to it the cyclists veering out of their lane and riding abreast. I don't think most people have a problem sharing the road, I know I don't, but with all I mentioned, the opportunity for tragic accidents is overwhelming.
You are bicyclists and should understand your vulnerability and realize the potential for such is greatly increased by the distracted and careless drivers at deadly speed. If the risk is worth it...keep on spinning down RR, it's a free world...

Hitting a cyclist is like hitting a pedestrian and the laws should reflect that. They are basically defenseless. If more people would ride bikes, then gas would not be 4 dollars a gallon. There also would not be as many health issues with obesity. I am a cyclist and many of my friends would like ride but won't stating there too many idiots on the road that don't know how to drive. I agree that North Carolina is one of the worst states when it comes to widening the road to allow for cyclist, but that is no excuse for hitting one. Slow down and pass when the road is clear. That is why cyclist have to take up so much of the road so idiots won't try to pass on a two lane road with another car coming knocking them in the ditch. All bike route roads like River Road should be 45mph (then motorist can go 55mph instead of 65mph). This guy on trial killed two people and should pay the price.

There are plenty of safe places to ride a bike. River Road is not one of them. Also, you mention bike riders taking up the road so motorists won't try to pass them, what kind of thinking is this? Irritating the operator of a 3,000+ pound vehicle behind you somehow does not sound like a good idea. Stay in your bike lane or as far to the right as you can and ride single file and everybody will get along.

Aside from this case I would like to say that River rd is not a safe place to ride a bike. The legal speed limit is 55mph. If you are driving properly in your lane there is only about one foot seperating you and the bike. One slight move by either can be deadly for the cyclist. When riding in pairs the riders sometimes come over their side of the line. I drive the road daily for eight years now and hope i never hit one of these guys even abiding by the law.

I stopped riding my bike on a heavily travelled road after having two very close calls, one of which nearly broke my arm. That said, what do you do when you come up on a backhoe or tractor moving at 10 mph? You slow down and pass when safe. Why would you do any differently with a bicyclist?

...and if cyclists want to take the chance of having their backs to 55 to 70 mph traffic whizzing by them only inches away, it's THEIR call. I wouldn't do it and I wouldn't recommend it. Everday in my travels from southern NHC to the northern part, I witness multiple distracted drivers incoherently navigating our roadways. I see lane drifters, shoulder drifters, texters and constant cell phone use. Even spotted and undercover officer texting 2 days ago, oblivious to his surroundings, including me riding next to him while observing him.
The need to a ride bicycle in a known, unsafe environment is a "chance" the spandex warriors continue to take and add to that chance by riding abreast and sometimes swaggering out of the bike path. It's the bicyclists decision, their risk and their assumption of consequences. The potential consequences are very, very heavy! It's a free world out there. Everybody has full authority to make as big of an idiot out of themselves as they feel the need to.

the subject is not should a bike be on the road. this guy was a drunk driver. he probably would have hit them no matter what the speed limit was. he already was not obeying the law by driving drunk.

My post says NOTHING about whether bicycles should be on the road or not. My post describes the safety issues of bicycling on the River Rd. environment. It is a "choice" to ride there, albeit a dangerous one in my opinion. Remember, this very same type of accident could have easily been caused by a distracted driver as well, it doesn't have to be a drunk by any means.

My father told me something as a child that I still hold dear. "Son, you can do anything you want to, good or bad...at least once! Think about the potential consequences before you attempt it and decide if you really want to or not as it could be your last decision."

RIDING A BICYCLE ON ANY HIGHWAY IS A CHOICE. AND THE PERSON WAS DRUNK, WHICH MAKES IT A DIFFERENT CHARGE THAN IF HE WAS DISTRACTED. I KNOW THE END RESULTS WOULD BE THE SAME. MOPEDS ARE ANOTHER ISSUE. THESE PEOPLE CAN RIDE THEM LEGALLY WITH OUT INS, TAGS OR DRIVERS LICENSE. , THEY SHOULD BE OUTLAWED. ALSO, THE SPEED LIMIT OF 55 IS TOO HIGH FOR RIVER ROAD. ITS 2 LANES AND CURVY. CAROLINA BEACH ROAD AND COLLAGE ROAD ARE ONLY 45, AND THEY ARE MOSTLY STRAIGHT AND 4 LANE. GO FIGURE. EITHER WAY, ITS A TRAGADY FOR every one.

This is clear cut and quite frankly I can't believe this guy has not tried to plead this out. He killed two people by his actions. Time to pay.