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FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Deputy charged in crash that killed motorcyclist

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A Brunswick County deputy is facing charges after a crash Monday afternoon that killed a motorcyclist.

The accident happened on Old Ocean Highway and Shingle Tree near Calabash.

Highway Patrol says the deputy, who has not yet been identified, is charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and failure to yield.

Highway Patrol says the victim is Thomas Varney of Virginia.

Alcohol and drugs are not believed to be involved.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Not just BCS

I am sorry about this whole accident,but talking about the speeding it is not just BCS it is more of the State Troopers,they all act like they are on a speedway running laps never with lights or nothing.when they coming flying from nowhere riding your butt and you can't move over for traffic when you finally get over he fly's by gos up a little turns around and back the other way.The state troopers have flew by me on my way to walmart when I get up turn into walmart there they are 2 or 3 of them sitting there talking lights off cars running,just yesterday was at work on hwy 17 and 2 different ST flew by at different times later on one even flew by a BCS like he was sitting still and was out of sight in no time no lights,nothing. The State Troopers are the more aggressive over bearing drivers,don't get me wrong I have the most respect for any law enforcement for their job and I appreciate them for that job,but they need to respect there citizens on the streets and highways as well,and extra bonus think of all the gas that could or would be saved.

Not one to nitpick but.,

Was the motorcycle rider wearing a helmet? If so then I honestly question if the deputy should have been charged with death by motor vehicle at all, because I know that there are enough cases out there of no death charges being filed in cases where the individual who died failed to wear a seat belt and thus contributed to their own death. Ive worked in an ER and also was in EMS for many years and sadly we had a 2 word term for motorcycle riders who didnt wear a helmet and were involved in bad accidents.. "Organ Donors".. Anybody foolish not to wear a helmet and ride on a vehicle traveling at speeds of 55-60mph the math is simple. A rider thrown off their bike at speed will impact with the following impact Speed X Weight of individual = pounds of force exerted upon the victims body when they impact the ground. So a person traveling at 60 MPH and weighing 200lbs will impact with the force of 12000 lbs.. Im sorry yes the human body can withstand signicant force but 12000lbs on the skull tends no to end well at all.

nitpick

Helmet or not, a motorcyclist struck by a car or truck has relatively little chance of a good outcome. Maybe no one should be in judgement of rider or deputy. I'm a rider myself. My daughter and SIL are both in law enforcement and Tom was also a friend of ours. Tom was a wonderful and kind person and a responsible rider. You would be happy to know, he was a literal organ donor as well. As I understand, his injuries were devastating and he was not necessarily killed by head injuries. I can hope that most of those organs he so valiantly donated could be salvaged to help others. I'm not sure what the situation was exactly but I feel for both parties as lives will be ruined on both sides of the situation. Prayers to Tammy Varney and Tom's family as well as the officer involved. This should serve as a reminder to us all to slow down, pay attention to everything around us and be responsible and courteous drivers. After all, mistake or not, we have to live with the consequences of our actions.

Re: Not to nitpick but

First: The motorcyclist in this accident WAS wearing a DOT (Department of Transportation) approved helmet.

Second: This is a truly unfortunate incident for all parties involved. My thoughts and prayers go out to both the families of the motorcyclist and the Deputy.

Third: I am a career medical professional in EMS (for the past 10 + years with 6 of them being in critical care air medical transport). I have seen more unfortunate accidents involving motorcycles than I would like to recall and the people at fault range from other drivers, the motorcyclists, and wildlife. I am going to be quite frank. For you to go spouting off about whether or not the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet and generalizing that motorcyclists involved in accidents are "organ donors", insensitive, rude, and unprofessional. You do not know the facts about this accident. We do not need a physics lesson on motor vehicle crashes, as most know the science behind speed, velocity and rate of deceleration.

Fourth: If your involved in EMS you need to have more respect for your profession and for the victims of this accident. I was appalled and embarrassed for you after reading this post. You said, "If the motorcyclist wasn't wearing a helmet, then the Deputy shouldn't be charged". Are you serious? Do you know how ignorant you sound. No need for it. I hope in the future you read what you type before hitting the submit button.

Last: My family is very good friends with the motorcyclist that was killed in this accident. My family was on vacation with the motorcyclist and his family at the time of the accident. So rather than making assumptions of what happened and what one was wearing or not, why don't you wait to hear it from the professionals at the North Carolina Highway Patrol who are investigating this, before posting "crap" as you did.

Sincerly,
EMS Professional

DOT Helmets

I respect your views but I must point out that the DOT does NOT "approve" helmets. This is a misconception, the manufacturers "self certify" and then just apply the DOT insignia.

Yes, when an collision you

Yes, when an collision you cause KILLS someone, there is no question at all that you should be charged.zzinan

when did the laws change that? accidents are practicly homicide?

The courts are bleeding us and the insurance system dry to get their cut to pay themselves and the multitude of police and public defender agencies. 3 million cases per year go through NC Courts and there's only 10 million total state population. 1/3 of our people go thru the courts doors and pay $$$ every single year.

Yes he was wearing a

Yes he was wearing a helment. He was a very safe driver. It was clearly the officer's fault. He was a good friend and father and grand father to my son and grandsons. The officer should be charged with vehicle homicide. We would have been if we had caused something like this.

I am very sorry for your

I am very sorry for your loss. I know Tammy through working with her at the Health Department.

He was in fact wearing a

He was in fact wearing a helmet, sorry you wasted so much time giving useless facts that had nothing to do with this particular accident.

pounds * speed is not force

you are an idiot. first of all, mass times speed is momentum, not force. second, you dont need a helmet if you dont crash. if someone else causes you to crash they should be held responsible.
third. i ride. i wear a helmet. i have been in an emergency room after a crash. it always seemed strange to me that hospital staff has more respect for failed suicides and drug overdoses than someone riding a bike. keep up the good work there, medicos, this is why i dont have an organ donor card. i'm sure after you cut off my $800 leather jacket for a leg injury you would hesitate to go after my organs, eyes, or WALLET.

I am a biker and i ride a

I am a biker and i ride a sport bike which cops hate. How is it fair yhar cops run at high speeds even if there not on a call. They break the rules and get away. Its sad that he wasnt paying attention to the road instead he was on his lap top or texting as i seen with my own eyes before. Hopfully they so the right thing. He still killed the man and needs to pay the price

Dontworry - you said "Its

Dontworry - you said "Its sad that he wasnt paying attention to the road instead he was on his lap top or texting as i seen with my own eyes before."

You don't know what he was doing. He was responding to a domestic call, doing his JOB, when a tragic accident happened. It could have been your family he was responding to. It could have been you driving and made a mistake that claimed someone's life. None of us are perfect.

For you to make assumptions like this is ignorant and hurtful to everyone involved.

If he killed me on my bike

If he killed me on my bike my family be living large.

Tom

Tom is my Brother In-law. My husband is a Former Deputy Sheriff. We all need to get the facts first. We are all having a hard time dealing with this horrific accident. He has a family that is devastated. His wife, children and grand children will not be able to have him in there life anymore. Please don’t be so quick to judge either party. The Deputy will have to live with this the rest of his life.

Agree

Dear Sister-In-Law:
I agree with you. This is so very tragic, and I know his wife and family are broken hearted. But we were not there, and we do not know all the facts. Please do not judge, I feel certain that this will be hard on all involved. My prayers go out to Tom's wife, and family. Tom was a precious man, loving husband, and devoted father, grandfather and uncle. Godspeed Dear Tom! You are so missed.

Computers in police cars

I am not really commenting on this accident, my prayers go out to both the everybody involved, but when you put a computer blocking your peripheral vision in police cars. Eventually it is going to lead to an accident, especially if you are using it while driving. This in itself should be against the law, I don't care how much training you get it is not safe. Safety first, don't compute and drive. This should be a study like texting and driving and see how many accidents have been caused by computing and driving. Seems like to me alot more cops are running off of the road or having accidents for no reason.

Computer

Were you there when the accident happen? If not how do you know that he vision was blocked by his computer? I don't see anything being report that he was using it. Can they find out if he was? Yes, everything is logged and they can go back and tell if he was. I worked 16 years with a company that provides the software that is used by some agents to Mobile Data. I have been asked numerous times to provide information about a unit’s use that has been involved in some type of accident. To my surprise I have never seen an officer’s accident caused by this in the ones I have had to check.

So if you don't know what you are talking about Shut UP.... I am sure that someone is already looking at the logs to see if he was. Also, in most states these logs are public records so if you don’t believe them you can take a look..

Open Forum means that nobody has to "shut-up."

Hey Jack-scat;

What kind of LE troll are you? What authority do you have telling ANYBODY to "shut up?" Are you some kind of relative or lover-boy of the POS code-enforcer was too busy NOT WATCHING THE ROAD to keep from killing an innocent motorcyclist?

Paying attention to anything that distracts from the forward or side views of a motor vehicle WILL CAUSE ACCIDENTS! Dashboard computers do make people glance away, even for just a fraction of a second ... which is long enough to stupidly kill people.

Just 'cause you claim not to hear of this kind of computer crime don't mean it ain't so. Anyway, if you don't like people making speculations about why this failed public servant killed an innocent person, then get off the website, or you STFU.

As it is, you seem to be the only rube showing that you don't know what you're talking about. What wages is the LE union paying you to shill out your oppressive communications?

DanD

tragic accident

I don't know the deputy involved, but was a close friend of the gentleman who died as a result of this tragic accident. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to my dear friend's family, to the deputy and his family. As of now, this appears to be just a horribly tragic accident. And, should the investigation later lead to some other conclusion, both families still deserve everyone's sympathy and understanding. Unfortunately nothing will bring my friend back and nor lighten the terrible suffering this deputy must be going through. Again, my sympathy to all involved.

Going Nowhere?

It's a shame that people jump to conclusions like this without knowing anything about emergency services. (But first.. know that I am not a cop, but I do work in emergency services). I guess it's just ignorance to the other side of the story that leads people to make rediculous statements like this. I'm not calling anyone ignorant in general, but before you refer to our law enforcement officers or any emergency workers as no good, worthless, etc.. spend some time volunteering in fire or EMS. Just because a call doesn't qualify as a "lights & sirens" level upon dispatch, doesn't mean its not an emergency to the person that called 911. The officer that just blew past you on Hwy 17 may be the only officer available in the south end of the county (and yes, that happens frequently) and now he has to get from Supply to Calabash. Now imagine you, or your mom, or your child are the one that called 911... do you want him to do 55 to get to to THAT call?

The statement "it was bound to happen" is true, no argument there, it's just odds. But you or I could be at fault in a motor vehicle accident today. So before anyone else talks smack about emergency workers, please consider some statistics.. Who is in more vehicular accidents in this county: trained emergency vehicle drivers getting to someone that needs help in a hurry, or regular everyday normal guy going about the same drive to or from work that he takes everyday?

I feel for the family that lost a loved one too.. but let's not turn this into a blame game.

not above the law

This comment does not apply to this particular accident, but rather to the people commenting who seem to think a deputy can do no wrong.

IF a cop is responding to a call and traveling above the speed limit, then it should be with "lights and sirens". Traveling from Wilmington to Calabash on 17 a couple of weeks ago just after the sun set, I was passed at two completely different points by Highway patrol cars, both doing at least 90 mph, weaving in and out of traffic WITH NO LIGHTS ON. One came up behind me so quickly I could not get out of the way after passing and he just swerved to the right through the gap without slowing. NO LIGHTS.

One even blew through a red light with traffic coming by slowing a little bit and flashing his lights briefly. Luckily, no accidents occurred, but this type of behavior is an accident waiting to happen and a preventable one. If it is not a "lights and sirens" call, then they should not be speeding. And if they kill someone because they are speeding without lights and sirens, then that is felony manslaughter (just like you or me would be charged with) and should be punished, just like anyone. Being a cop does not place them above the law.

An accident waiting to happen

IF the cop is responding to a call and traveling above the speed limit, then it should be a "lights and sirens". Traveling from Wilmington to Calabash on 17 a couple of weeks ago just after the sun set, I was passed at two completely different points by Highway patrol cars, both doing at least 90 mph, weaving in and out of traffic WITH NO LIGHTS ON. One even blew through a red light with traffic coming by slowing a little bit and flashing his lights briefly. Luckily, no accidents occurred, but this type of behavior is an accident waiting to happen and a preventable one. HOPEFULLY this is not the case this time. But obviously if it is not a "lights and sirens" call, then they should not be speeding. And if they kill someone because they are speeding without lights and sirens, then that is manslaughter and should be punished, just like anyone. Being a cop does not place them above the law.

This was a tragic accident,

This was a tragic accident, and should be a reminder to all of us to watch out for motorcycles/mopeds, etc. Deputies don't always get the appreciation they deserve, but are first to be criticized when something goes wrong.

This kind of accident could have happened to any of us. We all need to pray for the victim's family, the deputy involved, and everyone in law enforcement.

those of you commenting

those of you commenting should make sure you know the whole story before you beat this deputy down. I was the first person to respond to this accident (im a LVN) and speed was not a factor...it was a horrible accident in which this deputy was terribly upset for being at fault. My heart goes out to the bikers family...im a biker as well and it saddens me to lose a fellow biker. My heart and prayers also go out to this deputy and his family...losing someone is hard but all of you should consider how horrible it is to live with causing the loss of a life! Deputy "L".....i know your heart is heavy with grief...know that you are in my prayers!

just a quick question first responder?

First off NC doesnt have LVN's they have LPNs. Secondly unless you were responding as a member of an agency in Brunswick County you were not a 1st responder you were somebody who happened to come upon the scene and stopped to help (which is commendable as alot of people dont want to stop to assist). Not trying to be anal retentive but just trying to clarify what your situation was one way or the other and just curious as to why you would somehow misclassify your nursing license since only California and Texas I believe use that classification for non-RNs with 12-18 month diplomas.

Sad

I'm saddened to think of what the family, in Virginia, is going through. My thoughts are, also, with the Deputy Sheriff, his family (at home and the agency).

Wilmington Observer

I do not live in the County

but I am there frequently for business and travel through to SC.

Not only does there be a tendency to speed, but cell phone useage and even laptops on the passenger seat all seem to provide distractions for officers who drive.

Accident.

I am so very sorry for the victim of this senseless accident, but it's been a long time coming. During the eight years I have lived here I have seen numerous police vehicles speeding up and down HWY 17 without lights on and apparently no where to go!! NOT ONCE, but MANY TIMES!! I've had to collect myself a few times when police cars have gone speeding by me, on my blind side and attempting to move over, with my blinker on, I felt like I could have been killed. Sheriff, it's time to do something about this. Before someone else dies.

Going Nowhere?

It's a shame that people jump to conclusions like this without knowing anything about emergency services. (But first.. know that I am not a cop, but I do work in emergency services). I guess it's just ignorance to the other side of the story that leads people to make rediculous statements like this. I'm not calling anyone ignorant in general, but before you refer to our law enforcement officers or any emergency workers as no good, worthless, etc.. spend some time volunteering in fire or EMS. Just because a call doesn't qualify as a "lights & sirens" level upon dispatch, doesn't mean its not an emergency to the person that called 911. The officer that just blew past you on Hwy 17 may be the only officer available in the south end of the county (and yes, that happens frequently) and now he has to get from Supply to Calabash. Now imagine you, or your mom, or your child are the one that called 911... do you want him to do 55 to get to to THAT call?

The statement "it was bound to happen" is true, no argument there, it's just odds. But you or I could be at fault in a motor vehicle accident today. So before anyone else talks smack about emergency workers, please consider some statistics.. Who is in more vehicular accidents in this county: trained emergency vehicle drivers getting to someone that needs help in a hurry, or regular everyday normal guy going about the same drive to or from work that he takes everyday?

I feel for the family that lost a loved one too.. but let's not turn this into a blame game.