A North Carolina mother and her family are still fighting two years later to have the man who allegedly killed her daughter while he was driving with a revoked driver’s license arrested and charged with murder.
Diedre Goodwin told The North Carolina Beat that a white man was driving with a revoked driver’s license in Clinton, North Carolina, when he struck and killed her 19-year-old daughter, Da’Mya Lanee Richardson in 2021. Goodwin said her daughter’s boyfriend, Jerome Swinson, had a cookout on April 10, 2021, on The Avenue, which runs north-south between Clinton and Salemburg and west of Bonnetsville. She said Da’Mya and her friends were at Swinson’s home for the cookout and to ride four-wheelers.
Goodwin said she didn’t go to the cookout.
Da’Mya’s boyfriend, Swinson, told The North Carolina Beat that everyone rode the four-wheeler one last time before it got late. He said that before Da’Mya, could turn around, the four-wheeler turned off on her two houses down from his home. Swinson said Da’Mya turned into an area facing an open field on the right northbound lane, with the two back tires of the four-wheeler just over the two solid lines on the shoulder.
He said all of the lights on the four-wheeler were on and could be seen from his home. Seven other people at the cookout were also in the yard heading to help Da’Mya before Donald Mack Williams Jr., 47, of Roseboro, allegedly came speeding around a curve.
Swinson said Williams Jr. kept speeding after he and the others in the yard yelled at him to slow down as he pa*sed his home headed in Da’Mya’s direction.
He came around the corner going real, real fast and by the time he got in front of my house everybody in my yard yelled at the same time to “slow down”, but it seems like he was pressing the gas, Swinson said.
According to Swinson, he said Williams Jr. appeared to have been traveling 60 mph before swerving right and striking Da’Mya, sending her in the air while one of her legs were still on the four-wheeler. Swinson said he was in shock when he got to Da’Mya and found her right leg chopped off. He said all of the lights on the four-wheeler were on, and Da’Mya could be seen clear as day before she was struck
The back red lights were on, the regular lights in the front were on, and it had like a thousand L.E.D lights on in the front, Swinson said.
While trying to help his girlfriend, Swinson said a woman came up behind him minutes later and told him to step back. He said the woman identified herself as an EMT, but he later found out that she was Williams Jr.’s wife. When North Carolina Highway patrolman Doug Tew arrived on the scene, Swinson said he pushed them back behind crime scene tape.
Swinson said Officer Tew did not ask him or any other witnesses what they saw. He said Officer Tew only asked them who was the owner of the four-wheeler. Swinson said he and the others who witnessed Da’Mya’s death tried to give Tew a statement, but he wasn’t interested.
Court records obtained by The North Carolina Beat show that in 2019, Williams Jr. was found guilty of driving while his license was revoked. At the time he allegedly struck and killed Da’Mya, his license was revoked, according to court records.
In the state of North Carolina, vehicular manslaughter, also known as death by vehicle occurs when one person unintentionally kills another person while driving illegally. Illegal driving includes behaviors such as drunk driving, texting,and driving, speeding, or any other action that is against the law.
Goodwin told The North Carolina Beat that she has tried to get Sampson County District Attorney Ernie Lee to charge Williams Jr. with killing her daughter, but he refuses.
He won’t even give me any information as a mother who lost her child, Goodwin said.
Court records show Williams Jr. was only given a citation for driving while license revoked related to Da’Mya’s death. The North Carolina law is clear, and Williams Jr. meets all of the elements of death by vehicle because he allegedly killed another human while breaking the law by driving with a revoked driver’s license. In 2009, Williams Jr. was found guilty of driving while impaired.
First Sgt. James E. Stahl with the North Carolina Highway Patrol said no charges would be filed against Williams Jr. unless “we get back.08 BAC or drugs in his toxicology. “We have submitted blood for examination.”
Goodwin said she wants Donald Mack Williams Jr. arrested and put behind bars for killing her daughter. A neighbor who lived directly across from where the four-wheeler turned off on Da’Mya said they heard her ask, “Do they see me?” as her last words.
Goodwin said Da’Mya was her only daughter, and she was full of life. She said her daughter never met a stranger because something about her energy drew people to her. She said Da’Mya loved family and always made people laugh.
She was so happy, Goodwin said. She loved making her own money, she was happy about her brother going into the military, she had a small circle of friends, she was so excited about becoming an aunt that she was buying gifts for her niece before she was born, and she purchased her first car.
Goodwin said her daughter had her whole life ahead of her, and Williams Jr. took that from her, and she wants justice.
You can help this family by emailing District Attorney Ernie Lee at [email protected] and demanding he speak to the witnesses who saw Williams Jr. allegedly strike and kill Da’Mya Richardson on April 10, 2021, and arrest him for manslaughter.
If you have a story you think the public should know about, send it to [email protected].