May 18, 2002

by Heather Hoge

My 19-year old cousin, Samantha Annette Moore "Sam" was killed by a drunk driver May 18, 2002. In the early hours of May 18, 2002, Sam got into the car with her on again off again boyfriend. He had been drinking, doing drugs and popping pills all night. They were clocked going 112 mph on the interstate. Instead of pulling over, the driver decided to outrun the police. The police followed them off of the interstate and onto a road about a mile from where Sam lived with her parents. At the time of Sam's death, her father was in the hospital for ongoing health issues. Traveling at such high speeds combined with a drunk and drugged driver resulted in the car running off the road into a cow pasture and Sam being thrown from the car. To make matters worse, the driver (who supposedly "loved " Sam)climbed from the car and ran from the scene. This was witnessed by the police officer who was following them. The driver decided he was going to hide because on top of being drunk and drugged, he was driving on a suspended license in a car with no insurance. The police officer who came across the scene first stopped to see if he could help Sam in any way, and he called for back-up. Sam was pronounced dead at the scene from her head slamming into a tree trunk.
The driver of the car was found about 25-30 minutes later. He was hiding in a creek overhang, attempting to blend in with his surroundings. He refused a breathalyzer at that time, as well as pleading the 5th. When asked why he ran from the scene, he stated "Because my license was suspended". The driver was taken to the hospital from the scene of the crash. He never once asked about Sam. He did not know if she was dead or alive. She was listed as an unidentified white female. When he was informed that Sam did not make it, he then stated "Who said I was driving the car? She was."
In December 2007 we had trial. The driver was indicted on seven different charges. Out of the 7, these are the 3 that he was "charged" with: involuntary manslaughter, eluding the police and felony hit and run. The time sentenced: 5 years on eluding the police, 5 suspended, 5 years on felony hit and run, 5 suspended and 9 years, 2 months on involuntary manslaughter, 4 suspended. Needless to say, it was PROVEN that he was the driver. He did not suffer any injuries other than road rash from where his arm scraped on the road when the car was flipping. He was able to climb from the car and run away from the scene, leaving someone he said he cared about and then lied about everything. At trial, he took an Alpha Plea, which means he was not saying he was guilty, but he "admitted" there was enough evidence to prove him guilty.
During the time he was in jail, he was allowed to have work release near the end of his stay. He abused this advantage as well because he was seen at a St. Patricks Day festival with beer trucks. A normal person who had a warm caring heart would be devastated that they had caused someones death. Not him. He proved that he did not care one bit.
He is out of jail now. I, myself, have not ran into him anywhere. Some days I want to and some I dont. What would I say? How would I react? I wonder that a lot. Of course as more time goes on, my anger is not as intense as it once was. My sadness is forever. I would love to make sure that he feels what we feel. He is able to walk around free now. He is able to see his family and celebrate holidays and birthdays. Sam's family gets to cry on holidays and birthdays and send balloons to Heaven and visit the crash site and cemetary.
I hope that everyone who reads this story is affected in some way. Sam had so much to offer this world and in a second it was all taken away.
Also Sam's father who was in the hospital at the time of her death passed away 6 weeks after she did. He was able to attend her funeral, on a stretcher, transported from the hospital.

Comments for May 18, 2002

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Apr 18, 2015
Nine years later
by: John Bowers

Sunday morning on May 22, 2011 my son was on his way to work as an ambulance driver. While stopped at a stop light, he was hit from behind by a drunk driver traveling 75 miles per hour.

For eight terrible days the doctors tried to save what was left of him.

The criminal will be up for parole in 2019. If I am still breathing (April, 2015 I am 64), I will fight his parole, as the sixteen years, by law the criminal could serve and richly deserves, is but a mariage of justice compared to what he did to my son, and our family.

God bless you and your family. I am sorry for your terrible loss.

May 30, 2010
Poor.....poor you
by: EP

When I read this I started crying and I didn't even know her! The guy she was with probably didn't even love her enough to admit it was him and instead he blamed it on Sam. I feel bad for Sam's family and everyone who knew her.

Nov 19, 2009
This is in response to a comment from "4"
by: Heather

I appreciate your comment that you left after reading Sam's story. I would love to know who you are. After I read your comment, I called Sam's mom to share it with her. She would love to know who you are as well. I have made it a part of my life now to make sure that Sam is never forgotten. She will always be a part of all of us who cared and loved her.
Again, thank you for taking the time to post a comment. It means a lot.
Take care

Nov 19, 2009
good girl gone....
by: 4

I sincerely feel for you, your friends and family. I knew her and was actually trying to get her to leave Ronnie and date me instead. The news of her death hit me like a pile of bricks. The fact that he did not take responsibility for his actions makes it MUCH worse. He will have to answer to our lord and savior for his actions. I know he has not changed at all, and is still headed down the path of destruction. I really hope you can find happiness in the memories you all have with her and hope you can find a way to make sure she is never forgotten.

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