A New Hanover County man is in jail on a million-dollar bond, following a hit-and-run incident that killed one person.
The incident took place on Sunday, November 4, on Carolina Beach Road near McQuillan Drive in Wilmington, NC. According to investigators, John Junior Colville, a driver for Wayne’s Towing, had emerged from his tow truck and was giving assistance to a motorist around 6:00 p.m. when he was struck by a box truck driven by Anthony Charles Thompson. Thompson then drove away from the scene. Wilmington police pulled him over at Legion Stadium, almost nine miles from the accident site.
Several witnesses called for emergency services, but Colville of Wilmington, 55, died from his injuries.
Thompson made his first appearance in court the following day, to face charges of second-degree murder, driving while impaired, felony hit-and-run, habitual driving while impaired, and driving while his license was revoked. He asked that a public defender be appointed to represent him.
District Attorney Ben David told reporters that Thompson has eight prior DWI convictions, 11 license suspensions, and a previous hit-and-run conviction. His criminal record also includes convictions for assault on a police officer, possession of a controlled substance, failure to stop for an accident, and several convictions for driving with a revoked license.
David argued in court that because the 50-year-old Thompson had lived in at least five North Carolina counties in the past, he represented a flight risk if released before trial. The judge agreed and did not reduce the $1 million bail.
Recent changes in state traffic law may increase the risk of prison time for Thompson if he is convicted. Last month, North Carolina’s Move Over Law was broadened to require motorists to change lanes or slow down as they approach utility and maintenance vehicles, including tow trucks. In addition, District Attorney David told reporters that repeated hit-and-run or DWI convictions can establish malice, an essential component of the second-degree murder charge.
“This is a very serious case and if the defendant is convicted of second degree murder he faces several years in prison,” David said.
The Wilmington motor vehicle injury lawyers at Speaks Law Firm send our deepest condolences to the friends and family of John Junior Colville.