HIGH POINT, N.C. -- David Hill was less than a mile away from work when he was hit and killed by an alleged drunk driver Tuesday morning.
Hill was turning off an I-85 exit ramp onto Brentwood Street when he was hit and killed by Emmanuel Simeon, according to High Point police.
Police said Simeon, 19, sped through a red light going about 100 mph after being spotted by a police officer going 20 mph over the speed limit earlier. Police later said they discovered Simeon was intoxicated.
“It’s never going to be more real than it is right now,” Dottie Bailey said. She said she had to tell her two children that their daddy would never be coming home. “Someone making a bad decision, several bad decisions. The fact that they got behind the wheel while drinking is what caused their father’s death.”
She said that Hill had an amazing eye and talent for photography. He loved to take photos of the natural beauty in the world. He also, like most parents, was obsessed with taking photos of his 10-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son. Not because he wanted to show them off, but to show them how he saw them.
“He always altered the photo to bring out their highest potential,” Bailey said.
FOX8 was given a statement from Alderman Company, where Hill worked for a decade.
"On Tuesday morning we lost our dear colleague, David Hill. Words cannot express the grief that we have and the sense of loss that weighs on each of us. Hill’s immense talent as a photographer was only eclipsed by his kindness. He loved life and those around him, and we knew it. It was our honor to work alongside Hill and a delight to hear him talk about his family as he showed pictures and spoke about them.
"Hill was on his way to work on Tuesday morning and we knew something was wrong when he was late – Hill was never late. Two of us went to the accident site looking for our colleague and were overwhelmed. We have heard another driver’s alleged excessive speed, impairment, eluding a police officer, and running a red light were the factors leading to what we saw. This makes the situation all the more tragic as it means this was not an accident.
"If people have to be told to not drink and drive, run stop lights, or speed to evade the police, then please tell them. One day it might be their colleague, parent, child, spouse, or friend who is driving to work when his or her life is ended. Today, Hill’s camera sits unused here, but more importantly there is a family without their Hill."
Hill’s family say they’ve been left with a huge hole in their life and don’t want his death to be in vain.
"My ex-husband was a good man, an upstanding citizen and above all a good father. He loved his children. My children have been robbed, their future forever altered by a drunk driver. One senseless act has brought such pain,” Bailey said.
She hopes that their loss, and the pain being felt by the hundreds of people Hill touched, will be a lesson to others not to drink and drive. That a split second bad decision can cause a ripple effect that can’t be undone.
Simeon faces multiple charges, including second-degree murder, and could be sentenced to 40 years in prison if found guilty.