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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.


Comment on this Story

  • Timber

    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.

  • Guest55

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

  • Donna B

    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.

  • dont worry

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

  • GuestMedic123456

    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.

    EMS Professional

  • Copsniffer-Sniffer

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

  • Qua

    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.

  • Sandra Varney

    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.

  • Cheryl Ann Whittle

    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.

  • Guest243

    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.


    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.

  • Guest28422

    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.

  • Guest28451

    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.

  • Dont worry

    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

  • sister inlaw

    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.

  • Tammy

    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.

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