Man, 62, is arrested in fatal hit-and-run

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A 62-year-old man was arrested Wednesday and charged with being drunk when his pickup struck two women as they walked on a road near Hephzibah, killing one and injuring the other.

Bragg Jr.  RCSO
RCSO
Bragg Jr.

Willie David Bragg Jr., faces two counts of felony hit-and-run, one count of first degree homicide by vehicle and one count of failure to maintain lane, and driving under the influence, Richmond County sheriff's Cpl. Danny Whitehead said.

Mr. Bragg has a record of DUI arrests, including one last year, Cpl. Whitehead said. He has a residence on the 900 block of Horseshoe Road, which is around the corner from where the accident took place.

He was in the process of moving to a new residence in Sylvania, Cpl. Whitehead said. He was arrested in Screven County on Wednesday afternoon.

Police had been searching for the driver of a white pickup that struck two women as they walked Tuesday night on Bennock Mill Road in south Richmond County.

Shannon Nicole Mathis, 25, was killed and sister Diane Meyer was hospitalized.

Their sister, Kimberly Meyer, 19, said today the tragedy had yet to sink in.

"I still don't even believe she's dead," said Ms. Meyer, who ran to the scene late Tuesday night after hearing of the accident. "It's like she's still in the house with the kids."

Ms. Meyer said Ms. Mathis and another of her sisters, 22-year-old Diane, had gone for a short walk.

At 9:15 p.m., they were walking in the northbound lane of Bennock Mill Road near its intersection with Horseshoe Road when a man in a white pickup hit them from behind, according to Richmond County sheriff's Maj. Richard Weaver.

The victims were taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital for treatment.

Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen said Ms. Mathis died at 9:58 p.m. Diane Meyer suffered a compound fracture in her left leg, Maj. Weaver said.

Family members described Ms. Mathis as a loving mother of two girls and one boy who enjoyed her evening walks with her sisters.

She was in town visiting from Mississippi.

"We all loved her very much," said Jessica Meyer, the victim's 15-year-old sister.

Family members said they are challenged to pay for burial expenses and are working with Wachovia Bank to set up a fund for donations.

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Craig Spinks
818
Points
Craig Spinks 07/30/09 - 02:18 am
0
0
Behind bars is the place

Behind bars is the place where sociopaths like Bragg belong.

Ole School
1
Points
Ole School 07/30/09 - 03:50 am
0
0
without parole . lets make

without parole . lets make him make little ones out of big ones for life !

concernednative
28
Points
concernednative 07/30/09 - 05:13 am
0
0
Yeah, multiple dui's and it

Yeah, multiple dui's and it just escelated into a senseless death, that is what normally happens when the punishment isn't significant enough

Redneckgirl1
0
Points
Redneckgirl1 07/30/09 - 05:39 am
0
0
No,judge could ever sentence

No,judge could ever sentence this worthless s.o.b,like the sentence he gave to my family.He took my sister's child,My sister ran down the road to see her dauhters left there like dogs .He took the life of one and ruined so many more.Does the courts not realize that letting people back on the streets that have dui's is just a death sentence for someone else.He should be sent to prison for the rest of his worthless life.At 62 he has lived his life,my 25 year old niece shannon was just getting started on hers,a beautiful young life ends because we can't keep people like this off the streets,I'll never get the need that people have to drink and drive.It's just lack of concern or respect for human life.The courts will never give him what he REALLY deserves.My niece did not deserve to die.

Son of God
0
Points
Son of God 07/30/09 - 06:34 am
0
0
May God bless the family as

May God bless the family as they continue to live and forgive the drunk driver as their daughter would have them to. God keeps telling us to depend on him only. We love your daughter, neice, etc. but God loves her the most. May God give you strength and courage to continue on as you become a witness to others. I promise, the courts can't and never will do what Jesus can do. Read and MEDITATE on Deuteronomy 32:39, John 14, Psalm 51, Pomans 10:9, 10. Please know that we are praying for your family and the drunk driver's family as well. May God get the glory from this. AMEN and God Bless all of You.

Equaltreatmentforall
49
Points
Equaltreatmentforall 07/30/09 - 07:51 am
0
0
What a heartbreak. Just the

What a heartbreak. Just the fact that this guy had multiple DUIs is unreal. It's a shame that it took an innocent person's death to finally get him off the road. My prayers and thoughts are with this grieving family. May the Good Lord be with you.

irish62009
0
Points
irish62009 07/30/09 - 08:02 am
0
0
I am connected to this family

I am connected to this family through marriage,they are a large family but they can't afford to lose one.Letting this man get away with drunk driving for this long,and at 62 it been a while,it is a real crime in itself.I hope the law does the right thing and puts him away for ever.

ONLY THE TRUTH
2
Points
ONLY THE TRUTH 07/30/09 - 08:08 am
0
0
How can the AC call this man

How can the AC call this man from Hephzibah?? His address is in Augusta near McBean. So is the place of the accident. It is a good 10-12 miles from Hephzibah. Why is it that our local newspaper is too ignorant to keep thinking anything South of The Gordon Hwy. is Hephzibah??

carolinafrog
14
Points
carolinafrog 07/30/09 - 08:09 am
0
0
Our family has been on the

Our family has been on the seat's edge awaiting WHO committed this heinous, irresponsible, and cowardly act upon the sisters. Families, please know Augusta is holding prayer vigils for your sisters, the one lost to this coward and the other injured by him. We pray for swift and justified punishment for this coward, as we also pray for your sister's soul as she passes through the Gates to Heaven. We pray for her children now left motherless, and her family now left without their sister/daughter! We pray you trust in Him to help heal your hearts and to lead you to forgiveness. The heart is less heavy when we forgive, trust me plz, I've been there. Plz know that we are not a community that condones this behavior he committed. And that we will do everything possible to help w/expenses where we can. Peace on your hearts, as we know prayer is already there.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 07/30/09 - 08:14 am
0
0
After all those days gone by

After all those days gone by with him on the run, in this pic he still looks drunk. You would think something like this would INSTANTLY sober up a person, let alone convict them to the core of their soul. He stood a better chance staying on the scene as far as jail time. Lord help us.

TWright987
0
Points
TWright987 07/30/09 - 08:24 am
0
0
my opinion... the driver

my opinion... the driver should be responsible for burial expenses, and college funds for the children. Give them some semblance of a future after he took away their mother

justus4
113
Points
justus4 07/30/09 - 08:29 am
0
0
This is another SAD example
Unpublished

This is another SAD example of U know what: Racial injustice and here is why. This poor soul, had he been a minority would have long been sent to prison for a long time for his past violations and driving history. But becasue of his ethnicity, judges were reluctant to impose such strict punishment on him. In other words, judges felt EMPATHY for this guy. In doing so, he avoided jail and was allowed to be free. Free to be in a horrible accident which cost innocent citizens their lives. Yeah, yeah, we know this is not a racial situation. Thats true, but this guy being allowed to continue to abuse driving rules and not get real jail time is suspect. And thats why equal justice under the law benefits EVERYONE, not just minorities. Truth hurts!

ONLY THE TRUTH
2
Points
ONLY THE TRUTH 07/30/09 - 08:36 am
0
0
Finally justus4 is close to

Finally justus4 is close to being correct. More than half of all African-American men under 30 are either incarcerated, on probation, or on parole. Not because of an injustice but because they simply do the majority of the crime.

storiesihaveread
369
Points
storiesihaveread 07/30/09 - 08:36 am
0
0
Oh lord justus4 why you

Oh lord justus4 why you bringing up race AGAIN? Gezz oh mighty stop the race card. It gets old fast. To me he is nothing but white trash. He should have been thrown in jail years ago. Made by law to put a device in his car that can detect that he has been drinking.

Redneckgirl1
0
Points
Redneckgirl1 07/30/09 - 08:42 am
0
0
Please i beg the people of

Please i beg the people of augusta/hephzibah area to help my sister debbie,i live in north carolina and i can not be with her at this time,it is killing me that i can not be there with her and i hope she knows this.I know my sister needs help and as a georgia girl i know as a community we can all help her and try to lay my niece Shannon to rest with respect and grace that she deserves.Please what ever you can do.Lets give her a little faith back in people.We can make a difference......

LaTwon
1
Points
LaTwon 07/30/09 - 08:52 am
0
0
what r u asking for?

what r u asking for?

disssman
6
Points
disssman 07/30/09 - 09:01 am
0
0
In a good Moslem country this

In a good Moslem country this scum would be beheaded before the weekend in the Augusta Commons. In this country we will insure he has legal representation (regardless of cost) at taxpayer expense and his trial probably won't be until a year or so. I am sure that if the penalty was beheading in Augusta Commons within one week, we would have zero occurances of this type criminal behaviour.

1941
4
Points
1941 07/30/09 - 09:24 am
0
0
I do not understand, why he

I do not understand, why he was on the streets, and driving!! I have a brother-in law, who has been in and out of jail, every year for the past fifteen years for DUI. The judge give him a few months, the most time he have served is a year. He is what they call a habitual DUI driver.He has not had a license in twenty five years. Do he have to do, what this man do, before they take him off the streets for good!!May God bless and keep the family of these sisters, and her children.

way
0
Points
way 07/30/09 - 09:49 am
0
0
Brown Rd. is addressed as

Brown Rd. is addressed as Hephzibah and Bennock Mill Rd. is only about a mile past Brown Rd. so it might be Hephzibah also. They took McBean off the map, no longer McBean, it's either Hephzibah or Augusta. Justus 4, thats not tru about them only letting white men go, they let that go 15 or 20 times before he was shot in Cherry Tree Crossing. His rap sheet was very long and he should've been in jail also, then he wouldn't have been shot. Dont' throw that race card in here, alot of blacks go free too, not just white people. I pray for the families of these girls and pray for justice for the white trash that did it.

cparker
83
Points
cparker 07/30/09 - 09:50 am
0
0
God bless...

God bless...

Redneckgirl1
0
Points
Redneckgirl1 07/30/09 - 10:31 am
0
0
PLease stop with all the

PLease stop with all the black-white thing,who cares what color he is,as long as he and other scum like him truly get what they deserves.Everything is always a race thing.My beautiful young niece is gone and will never see her again.What i am asking of the community is.
Slow down on bennock mill rd,especially where my nieces were hit.
Stop place a flower or candle in respect,if you know my family or even if you are a total stranger go by my sisters house on bennock mill rd and let her know people do care and that this is not just another news story,she would appreciate it so much,and if you can help her lay shannon to rest,she herself would never ask for Donations but they would help her so much,Thanks to all the people supporting my family .

Townie
1
Points
Townie 07/30/09 - 10:31 am
0
0
It is not a matter of race

It is not a matter of race when it comes to getting a free pass out of jail. It is all a matter of money. Them that has, gets. Money can turn a DWI into a non-moving violation if enough money is spent. Justice in this country is the best money can buy.

MSLADYBUGK
0
Points
MSLADYBUGK 07/30/09 - 10:38 am
0
0
My condolences. My prayers

My condolences. My prayers are with the family.

buckeyenow
6
Points
buckeyenow 07/30/09 - 10:40 am
0
0
I agree Woody (on the race

I agree Woody (on the race issue). You and your family are in my prayers. I am originally from Augusta, so your family is a part of mine. Please contact me at true2georgia@hotmail.com
I will do whatever I can to support you in this time of need.

Happy Camper 455
6
Points
Happy Camper 455 07/30/09 - 10:40 am
0
0
Gee......wonder where he'll

Gee......wonder where he'll be spending his last days...It won't be at an AA meeting...'less they have em in the slammer!!

GuyIncognito
1
Points
GuyIncognito 07/30/09 - 10:47 am
0
0
Woody, I'm sorry for your

Woody, I'm sorry for your loss and agree completely with your assessment on what this pitiful waste of a man deserves.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 07/30/09 - 11:25 am
0
0
Another [filtered word] repeat

Another [filtered word] repeat offender drunk driver. I blame the laws and politicians. When are you going to make these people see the light through punishment. The way the laws are now, they are not a deterrant for drunk drivers, they are a joke. Someone can have 5 duis without doing any jailtime. Makes me sick!!!!!! Losing their license means nothing, if they can't stop drinking and driving, after 3 they should be locked up for life!!!! And they need to close the loopholes so the unscrupulous lawyers can stop getting these [filtered word]'s off w/o a drunk driving conviction!

notforme
0
Points
notforme 07/30/09 - 12:13 pm
0
0
People please lets not

People please lets not forget that she had three children. Three kids who will never see thier mom again. Enough of this race stuff. I hope this guy gets the fullest punishment, for the kids sake.

SgtB
0
Points
SgtB 07/30/09 - 12:32 pm
0
0
To the family may God comfort

To the family may God comfort you and be with you for your loss, on another note I am a friend of the family of the driver of the vehicle. Everyone is painting a picture of him like he's an animal of some kind. Yes, he did wrong and yes he should be punished however it was an ACCIDENT. I don't think he got up that morning and planned to kill anyone. Everyone needs to know that he also has family. He is someones son, brother, and father. He is NOT white trash, a coward, etc, etc. and neither is his family. His family is very sorry for what has happened. Matter of fact, the first thing his daughter wanted to do after she found out was contact the family and tell them how sorry she was for what her father had done. As far as burial expenses she has contacted his insurance company and they should be receiving more than enough money that will pay for expenses! This will surely not help for the loss but hopefully it will help with the finances. It was an ACCIDENT NOT A MURDER!

Redneckgirl1
0
Points
Redneckgirl1 07/30/09 - 12:37 pm
0
0
I just want to thank everyone

I just want to thank everyone for supporting my family in their time of great need,i hope everyone does whatever they can for my poor sister,I now she will deeply apprecaite anything thay can be done. We as georgians can not let this repeat offender get away with this.I hope to be with my family soon,I saw my sister on the news and she is a mess,she needs everyone to be Her Family.A lot of times the law does let us down,But we all make that choice whether to drink and drive,we all know it is wrong and dangerous,But some people are so ignorant that they do not give a damn about anyone else but theirselves.My niece died because of a selfish,ignorant little man.I hope none of ya'll ever lose a loved one like this.Keep my family in your prays.

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