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Tapes released from 911 call in Matthews crash

READ MORE: Listen to part of the tapes released from 911 call in Matthews crash
It's been one week since Officer Richard Matthews of the WPD was killed in a car crash. He was responding as back up for another officer when he crashed his car. The Wilmington Police Department just released the audio recordings of radio calls between officers on the scene and 911 dispatchers. The recordings start with the initial traffic stop to which Officer Matthews was responding as back up early last Wednesday morning. As the recordings progress, you can hear officers ask for help after Matthews crashed. "318: I need EMS for Officer Matthews. He's got a 1050 on Shipyard Boulevard right across from Pine Valley Baptist Church, he's in the tree please." "I need EMS and fire and as fast as you can get them. 10-4 they're both in route, 1018." "There is a 1050 officer involved, officer is ejected from the vehicle at this time." The Wilmington Police Department hadn't planned to release the audio recordings this soon, considering many of the officers are still quite emotional, however some legal pressure from another media outlet prompted the police department to release the recordings late this afternoon.

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.


The Bottom Line

Yeah though you and ALL of Wilmington may not want to read or hear this, the bottom line is YOU DON'T MAKE GOOD BACK UP TO ANOTHER OFFICER IF YOUR DEAD. Slow the car to your control ability and arrive to back up the officer in trouble. Just because its a police interceptor does not mean it will hang with a NASCAR vehicle that can run over 100 mph and you live after a crash even those cars have there limits look at dale sr.

911 Tape ( I'm Sorry)

I Listened To The Tape As Well As Alot Of Other People , And I I Am Ashamed Of Myself For I Have Alot Of Respect For The Law Enforcement,I Am Sorry For Stooping To A Very Low Level And Just Being Curious. I Only Wish It Had Not Been Posted So I Like So Many Others I Would Not Have Been Tempted To Snoop Into The Last Minutes Of This Officers Life Let Me End This By Saying You Will Be Missed I As A Man Am Proud Of What You Did As A policeman Thank You For Protecting Me And My Family Tomcat

Call the media

People need to call the media outlets in the Wilmington area and express there concerns of the tapes being released.

Matthews 911 tapes

What a shameful abuse of the public's right to know and of the "public records law" that was used to force the release of tapes that should never be heard by anyone ever again. I'm sure those that heard the events "live" at the time of this tragedy still hear them over and over in their nightmares . . .


First off, the news agency that requested for the audio tapes to be released is the Wilmington Star. Second, the state law requires the tapes to be released if, and only if, they are requested. However, there is no law that states they have to be posted. Therefore, just because the Wilmington Star chooses to stoop to that level, it does not mean that WWAY and WECT have to stoop as well. As an officer for the WPD, I feel that the release of these tapes is too soon, and unnecessary. We as citizens of this community should be rememberering our own for his bravery, not his final catastrophic moments on Shipyard Blvd. The Star News has also requested the dash camera footage of the final moments, and hopefully if that is released WWAY and other media agencies won't post that! We'll have to wait and see!

Tapes Released

Rich was a wonderful officer, family member, friend and citizen who will truly be missed. As a spouse of a WPD officer, I find it absolutely disgusting that this information has been released and is now "news". Our loss has been very hard on everyone from his family, the men and women working with him, as well as their family members. We relive this tragedy everyday and just when we think we are able to find a “little” closure, this becomes “news”. Are we supposed to thank the media for this bit of “breaking” information? I think NOT!! All thanks should go to Rich, and all of our men and women who put their lives on the line everyday for you people that feel that this is “news”. You should be ashamed of yourselves for putting everyone through this only a week after our loss. Are you proud of yourselves for the lack of compassion you show?


Who was the media that wanted to cover this, tell me so I wont watch it!!!

The Star News is ridiculous

Any respect that I did have for the starnews is now gone. It is not like the audio would not have been released in an appropriate time frame. I listened to the audio in its entirety and I did not hear anything about the officer being ejected. In fact, you hear 318 state, "he is pinned in, I can't get him out". Rest in PEACE officer Matthews, Wilmington Officers don't let the media get to you.

Audio of 911 a good closure

the audio of the night of the crash educated me as to the situation that my friend Rich was going to help. tossing drugs out of a window is littering the roadway with opportunities for kids to scoop up the drugs and perhaps cause a ruin of their young lives. Drugs are dangerous and having pounds of drugs loose on the street where anyone could get them is dangerous. Also listening to the audio I heard a police officer say that the drugs were in a residential neighborhood. I needed to hear those recordings so I stop wondering what happened that night.

Releasing tapes

THE MEDIA HAS NO RESPECT, it's all about ratings. How would they feel if it happened to someone close to one of them, wouldn't they want some respect and privacy...apparently they DON'T CARE!


I am a cop in wilmington and to think if I was to die on duty, protecting and serving the public as I have sworn to do...I am sick to my gut to think my mom and dad or wife and children would here me on the radio fighting for my life. JUST SO NEWS AND GET A RATING!!!! the media SUCKS..not only wway but wect and star new...why dont you try to report real news..instead of playing audio tapes of a fellow officers last the media why dont you put down the camera and put your life on the line......oh thats right you dont get tv ratings doing that!!!

The airing of these tapes

The airing of these tapes disgusts me. This is not news.


I am sick and appalled with the media pressuring the police department to release this information. It has only been a week since Officer Matthews passing and the grief still runs deep at WPD and in this community. The media outlet that requested this recording should be ashamed of themselves.

Officer death.

Was he not wearing a seatbelt ????

Officer Matthews

Yes - he was wearing his seatbelt. While I understand the fact that this is the law and the tapes are "public information," I think the fact that the newspaper strong-armed the city into releasing these tapes (according to a press release Star News actually printed on their website) is despicable. How can this information possibly benefit anyone? It only causes those who respected and admired this brave young officer to relive the tragedy. Hope Star News is proud of themselves.

I completely agree. This is

I completely agree. This is disgusting and one of the most disrespectful things that could be done. The Star News is the worst out of all of the news networks locally for airing what they have on their website. They have NO respect whatsoever and will stoop to the lowest levels to create a story. At the bottom of the Star News' article on their website it states that the Star News has requested the video from the camera in the officer's car as well. What?! Are you kidding me?!! I am appalled! Let this man rest in peace, and let his family & friends grieve properly!

This is a disgrace

This is a disgrace. The media has shown what they will do to get a story. They don’t care who the hurt or what they report about. They can’t respect privacy of the friends and family member’s grieving in this situation. If this is news then they need to allow the public to put up a camera in there offices, cars and homes to let us view everything they do and say.

the media sinks to a new low

Star News, WWAY, and WECT lost a ton of class when they exploited the death of fallen Officer Matthews. How DARE you post the videos of his accident?? While it IS public knowledge, no one wants to see an Officer's last minutes--I have never been so disgusted with the media. RL: Officer Matthews DID have a seat belt on... he was not thrown from the car... he was pinned in. My prayers go out to his family and friends.