UPDATE: Tow truck driver killed by car while changing tire; driver in jail

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Submitted: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 12:06am
Updated: Mon, 11/04/2013 - 4:23pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Highway Patrol says one person is dead and another is behind bars after a hit and run on Carolina Beach Road at McQuillan Drive Sunday night.

Anthony Thompson, 50, is charged with second degree murder after hitting John Junior Colville, 55, and then driving away from the accident. Thompson is also charged with driving while impaired, habitual impaired driving, driving while license revoked and hit and run with injury. He is being held in New Hanover County jail under a $1 million secured bond.

Witnesses say Colville was helping a woman change her tire when he was hit and thrown into the air. He later died from his injuries. Wayne’s Towing in Wilmington did not want to comment.

According to Department of Public Safety records, Thompson has faced up to eight charges for driving while impaired and at least two charges of failure to stop for an accident.


  • MRS says:

    My heart is saddened with the news of Mr. Colville’s death. I am certain that the animal who did this (which does not deserve to be called by name) will get what is owed to him! Many people go on each day thinking that they don’t have to move over for anyone except for Law Enforcement…..This is NOT true…..to all the idoits out there who only move over those few inches b/c they think they are entitled to the road more than the person pulled to the side…..ask yourself what you would do/say/think if that was you parked on the side of the road……! EVERYONE MOVE OVER WHEN YOU SEE SOMEONE ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guestdepot says:

    You are so right! Speeding, weaving, no reagrd for the safety of others, or the posted speed limit. It’s like mayhem. They are not afraid of being pulled over and getting a ticket. I wonder why? Because they do it every day without consequence. It’s terrifying!

  • Charles Walters says:

    Dumba$$es like Anthony Thompson should be locked up for life. They are a danger to everyone on the road. Wimp judges, and slick lawyers keep getting idiots like this off much to the detriment of the public. At least the charge of 2nd degree murder will result in a harsh punishment, if the jacka$$ DA does not give him a plea bargin to a lesser charge. Mr. Colville’s family should pressure the DA not to bargin, and to put this fool away for life before he kills more innocent people. To the Colville family, I am sorry for your great loss.

  • Cheryl P says:

    My heart and my prayer’s go out to the family of John. As the owner of a Towing company it is geting harder for us to do our job’s because we always have to be looking over our shoulder’s. I hope they put this guy away for a long time, her deserves it.

  • Guest1948 says:

    I live in Sunset Park and travel Carolina Beach Road often. Between Greenfield Lake and Shipyard Blvd. is like a NASCAR track. People constantly speed well above the posted limit, blow through red lights and weave in and out of traffic. I can’t remember the last time I saw a police car patroling for traffic violators. Maybe now this will get their attention but sadly it’s too late for John.


  • stacy shurtliff says:

    My husband has been hit 3 times …i know of the scaryness ..accidents like these are the reason tow truck drivers should bee aknowledged ALL OVER as emergency vehicles AND workers!!!! We know not of the family but we are ALL FAMILY IN THIS INDUSTRY.. If anything is needed yoy can call day or night no matter how big or small it may seem ..from one family to another THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICES AND KI D HEARTS AND LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR STARNGERS

  • Citizen of the Republic says:

    Now that we have cars that park themselves, all vehicles need to have a fingerprint reader, or card scanner, so only those that own the car, or have a valid license can operate them.

    The cars already has an on board computers, it’s not that hard to incorporate this technology into vehicles.

    Of course, older cars would be the exception, but it still could be retrofitted.

    I know there are many tweaks left to figure out, but something needs to be done.

    I’m sure this would cut down on drivers with no licenses, and habitual drunk drivers.

    Too many innocent people are getting killed, bring on the technology and even if one life is saved it would have been worth it.

    I’m sure companies like onstar could make it happen.

    Condolences go to the family of the tow truck driver. A regular guy making a living for his family.

  • Guest123 says:

    You ask how he was on the roads driving when he had 8 DWI’s, DWLR and other offenses? Same way all those drunk drivers who’s cars were on the side of Martin Luther king Blvd halloween night are now out there driving. They went into court,were slapped on the hand and sent home.
    The sherrif and Hwy patrol do their jobs getting them off the roads. Some slick willy attorney lists in the phone book “can get you off for DWI” and they go into court and get them off. not a day in jail.
    I know. A drunk driver killed my daughter! He had 4 DWI’s in a three year period. driving without license and more. Was even on probation for drunk driving but he was still out there driving until he killed my only daughter. So, now he is in prison–wow. should have been in prison before they kill our loved ones. I say after the 2nd DWI charge lock them up.

  • ashley says:

    My husband is a wrecker driver in jacksonville fl and he have made alot of friends over the years in this business……people not realizebthat they put there life on the line every day to get peoepls cars moved………EVEN THOUGHT TOW TRUCKS ARE INCLUDE IN THE MOVE OVER LAW ITS NOT ENFORCED…………PLEASE MOVE OVER WHEN U SEE A TOW TRUCK ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD OR AT LEAST SLOW DOWN IF YOU CANT MOVE OVER…….TO MANY DRIVERS ARE GETTING KILLED WHILE DOING THEIR JOB CAUSE OF STUPID PEOPLE……..Prayers go out to the wrecker drivers family

  • Guest27870 says:

    My heart goes out to Mr. Colville’s family and Wayne’s Towing. As a AAA employee I hate that I had to go to work this morning to find out about this tragic accident. Thoughts and prayers with Mr. Colville’s family and Wayne’s Towing who has been a part of the AAA family for years! I hope Mr. Thompson will get what he deserves. God’s will be done.

  • Adam says:

    It’s a horrible and tragic event. John was a very nice guy that was always willing to help someone out. My heart goes out to his family. The guy responsible for this needs to be made an example of. He needs to never see the light of day again.

  • robert cyr says:

    This is disturbing.I like John am also a tow truck driver, and all of us put our life on the line everyday on the job. Its bs that people don’t move over for us on busy highways or roads in general. It doesn’t matter how many strobes are flashing or warning signs there are , there will always be some idiot not paying attention. This is a sad story and I feel for him and his family! Our prayers are with you

  • Guest28403 says:

    He has a criminal record dating back to 1979 that includes according to the NC DOC. 8 DWI/DUIs!!!! 4 Driving while Revoked. 2 Assault on PD, 2 Fleeing a scene of an accident plus possession of Controlled Substances.. WHAT THE HELL is wrong with this state. This idiot has no respect for the law or anybody’s life. Feel free to check to DOC website if you want to see it all. http://webapps6.doc.state.nc.us/opi/viewoffender.do?method=view&offenderID=0407352&searchLastName=Thompson&searchFirstName=Anthony&searchGender=M&searchRace=1&listurl=pagelistoffendersearchresults&listpage=1

  • guesty says:

    Slow down and read my post again, I didn’t say not respecting him, I said respecting them, meaning tow trucks. Drivers seem to think tow trucks are not included in the move over laws.

    I knew John personally.

  • Guest6858 says:

    The perp was drunk, driving without lic., etc. This has NOTHING TO DO WITH SOMEONE NOT RESPECTING HIM!! This has to do with repeat offenders literally getting away with murder. He purposely drank…he purposely got behind the wheel of a vehicle. This should be FIRST degree murder. It makes me SICK!! My condolences to the family and to Wayne Peters and his men.

  • guesty says:

    He worked for Wayne’s Towing. All the drivers wear the proper reflective gear and park the trucks to protect them while working. I’m guessing he was hit while getting in or out of the truck or possibly while getting the tire changing equipment out of one of the side toolboxes.

    Tow trucks are included in the move over law but people don’t seem to respect them.

  • mikec says:

    John worked for Waynes Towing, he was a long time driver for them and was a great person, always happy and willing to help. He will be missed by many. Rest in peace John, There is a special place in heaven for a man like you, far too soon but take you place there and rest in peace.

  • Guest11 says:

    Does anyone know what company he worked for?

  • Melissa says:

    My heart goes out to the family. I was there picking up my friend when it happened. Such a tragedy.

  • guesty says:

    He was drunk, was a habitual dwi offender, his license was currently revoked and he had an open alcohol container in the vehicle. He doesn’t care about anybody but himself.

  • Guestdamn says:

    What is going on around here? We obviously need to crack down on these crazy speeders who have no regard for the safety of others. It’s downright dangerous to be out on the roads here in Wilmington. Nothing’s going to change unless we do something! Stricter penalties maybe? Speed traps? I don’t know. So sad…

  • GuestExCop says:

    I used to work in an auto body shop and occasionally drove the wrecker, so I know that you have to watch out for traffic while hooking up, because with all the distractions, many drivers don’t even see you even with all the amber flashers. And, a drunk driver makes things even more dangerous.

  • shrew99 says:

    He was a good man. IF ANYONE SEES A TOW TRUCK ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD, MOVE OVER OR SLOW DOWN. It is a dangerous job and not one worth your life. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, family, and friends. RIP John. You were an awesome person.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    I thought they were included and have pulled over to the left or slowed down. Will continue to do so; perhaps other drivers will take the hint.

  • MJC says:

    This is the VERY reason why the towing association has pushed for so many years to have wrecker operators included in the Move Over Law. The pain that this drivers family is having to endure. These individuals go out 24/7 to assist persons in need; whether it be a tire change, an accident or just a broke down vehicle. The reputible companies that pride themselves in being up on safety & professionalism do this everyday & yet there are persons out there that want to talk crap about these unappreciated individuals. Yes, there are those NON reputible companies that thrive on tow aways & gouging the public but that is the owner of the company not its employees. This driver was probably at home with his family enjoying the warmth & a nice dinner; to get called out in the cold & rain to do a tire change that probably generated about $30. in revenue. So very sad. My heart goes out to the driver’s family.

  • friendofjohn says:

    Tow trucks are included in the Move over Law, but when you have a crazy drunk driver it doesn’t mean anything. John was a wonderful man and would go out whenever he was called but he worked a shift, worked for a good man and company that took care of his drivers. Safety always came first to John and to Wayne’s Towing.

  • William says:

    Thoughts and Prayers go out to the victims family, my family is in the Wrecker business as well and i know i would be devastated if something were to happen to one of them.

  • Friend says:

    He was a good man and was always willing to help other people. Me and his other friends and co-workers will miss him. Please pray for his family.

  • gill says:

    My prayers go out to the family,Mr Thompson is my brother-in law. My wife has cried all day not for her brother but for the lost of a mans life and the effects it is causing on his family and dear friends.May Gods gently hands touch the broken hearts. We cant change what happened but we are praying for you all. May justice be done. Mr Thompson always had problems it wasnt because he didnt have a family that cared. He done whatever he wanted no matter how much we tried. Our hearts are broken aswell. The facts are clear and all we can do is pray and say from us we are so sorry for the lost of a well loved man. I hope this comment seems wrong to anyone, just had to say something. GOD BLESS

  • Randy Stewart says:

    Our Prayers go out to John’s family, and also to the wayne’s family.

    Randy Stewart

  • Sam says:

    I think they wanted to know who the drunk driver was working for

  • guesty says:

    The driver was already revoked for being a habitual dwi offender, was drunk, had an open container in his truck and now has killed a man just trying to earn a living.

    John had worked for Wayne’s Towing for many years and knew the dangers of being on the side of the road, but you can’t prepare for an idiot that doesn’t care about anybody else and decides to drive drunk.

    The driver needs to be executed since this isn’t his first and if you gets out, will do it again.

  • MJC says:

    Friendojohn, you are absolutely correct that wrecker operators are included but sadly the law was put in place 11 years ago but was just broadened this past June & put in place last month to include tow trucks . t’s so sad to think how many in NC alone have been injuried or lost their lives before they were finally recognized for the important role they play in the emergency response area. Just so very thankful as obviously you are that it’s finally in place. Keep helping others to understand. Thank you.

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