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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A day after allegedly causing a fatal accident, a Brunswick County Sheriff’s deputy is temporarily off the job.

Dep. Adam Locker was on duty when troopers say he turned in front of a motorcyclist on US 17 near Calabash.

A small bouquet of flowers and a bloody cloth are small mementos that signify something bad happened at the intersection where Thomas Varney, 57, died Monday. He was riding his Harley-Davidson on US 17, when troopers say Dep. Lockner turned in front of him while responding to a domestic call.

“When he took that left off 17 North, he cut across 17 South and didn’t see the motorcycle,” Tpr. J. Thomas, who is handling the investigation said.

Varney was from Virginia. He and his wife were on vacation in North Myrtle Beach, SC.

Investigators say Varney had ridden to Beach House Harley-Davidson in Brunswick County, but the the store was closed. He was on his way back to South Carolina when the accident happened.

EMS airlifted Varney to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, where he died.

“I can tell you alcohol has all been ruled out,” Tpr. Thomas said. “He was tested at the scene, just as normal procedure would be. At this point, alcohol is not believed to be any type of contributing factor.”

Highway Patrol charged Lockner with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and failure to yield. The highway patrol reconstruction unit will investigate Wednesday.

Dep. Lockner has been with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office since October 2009. He is currently on paid administrative leave.


Comment on this Story

  • Tammy Varney, wife of Tom Varney

    5 months ago I said goodbye to my husband that Monday morning as I headed to the beach with a friend and he downing a huge dagwood sandwich before his “ride”. He was excited to be on vacation, had spit shined that bike. I wish I could take that morning back and say no, go with me to the beach..he did that on Sunday you know..something he hardly did. We walked on the beach holding hands, talking and just being happy together, we saw a bird fly down and get a catch in awe. He was a man of faith and encouraged the same from me. I can’t begin to tell you of the loss I feel or how many “occasions” have come and gone without him..Thanksgiving, his 58th birthday and birthweek we’ll never celebrate again, unless its September 17th @5:00 and Happy Birthday in Heaven, his church family misses him, his son misses him, his grandchildren, his best friends and his Carter Family, his Belfry Ky family mostly ME HIS WIFE. My home and heart are empty.
    I pray for the officer involved as I know he didnt intend to do this but also know that he is sworn to uphold the law. I hope like me, he sees the vision of my husband as I see it every day when I awaken, every night when I close my eyes and try to sleep. He didnt deserve to die this way. He has been a rider for 35+ years, and his occupation, he drove 1000s of miles a year. A safe driver. I know we cant change what happened but in all of this know that the comments are not meant to be hurtful but to give insight to the awesome human being God chose to take home instead of allow to suffer as a result of this horrific day that I will never forget.

  • Whitewollff

    It was an accident..Why do people want to make the people involve feel worse than they already do..I doubt that the Deputy was on his cell phone. He was in a hurry responding to a call..it could have happened to any of us that was in an accident but people want to make a big deal out of it all because it was a Deputy…well guess what? HE’S ONLY HUMAN!!! Now on the subject of Deputy’s using cell phones, I was in the car with a deputy that all the way from Shallotte to the Sheriff’s Dept he was texting and driving 80 miles an hour most of the way there but why report when it’s your word against their’s…I know I didn’t report it just because I figured the Sheriff wouldn’t believe me but I know what I saw and I know what he did and I figure if he did it with me in the car that he did it when I wasn’t in the car.Facts are the facts and he BUSTED THE DRIVING WHILE TEXTING LAW ALL TO HELL AND SPEEDING MORE THAN 25 MILES OVER THE SPEED LIMIT BLOWN WIDE OPEN AND GOT AWAY WITH IT AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO….IT GIVES POLICE OFFICERS A BAD NAME.

  • PublicAvenger

    First, and foremost, my heart goes out to the victim, and his family. Just like the anbulance driver, it was a tragic mistake. It’s so easy to look at a public servent, and think “he should have known better”. But we all make mistakes, driving. Usally, we are lucky, when nothing happens. (You accidently run a red light, but luckily, there was nobody to hit.)

    Fate just happed to deal a cruel hand, on this occasion. I feel very sorry for the deputy, who, I’m sure, feels very bad, right now. He never meant to hurt anyone. It was a mistake.

  • Guest17

    Everyone needs to stop using this as a B*tching forum about other events in the past! Everyone needs to think that the families of both the victem and officers, might be reading this and finding this very offensive! Instead of using this to talk about past events that do not have any importance to the pain, suffering and grieving of both these families how about using it to send good thoughts and things that are going to help the families especially those of the victims because they have lost a very special man in their lives! I hope that the lord is looking over the Varney family at this time of loss!!! <3 lots of love being sent your way!

  • Miranda

    Drove by as the after math of the accident happened. Prayed for the family as well.

  • Michele

    My husband was the ambulance driver in that tragic accident last October. When the case was finally closed earlier this month, my husband was in the parking lot after court preparing to come ho.e and the victim’s friends approached him, hugged him and told him that they forgive him. The victim’s family also requested that my husband serve no jail time. No one knows the hell our family has gone through this past year and I am quite certain that Sarah’s family has struggled also. My point is this WAS AN ACCIDENT CHILDREN (because that is what all of the negative commentors sound like); What all of the people involved need now is your support, love & prayers; not your driving record, criticism or “assessment” of the situation. GROW UP & HAVE SOME RESPECT!

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