Raleigh hit-and-run victim walked home from bars before, brother says
Weston Vandemerwe (left) with his brother Gavin (center) and Colin (right).
APEX, N.C. -
The brother of an Apex man found dead after leaving a Raleigh bar early Saturday morning says his brother had previously attempted to walk home after a night of drinking.
Colin Vandemerwe said Wednesday that Weston Vandemerwe was no stranger to a good time, saying that he enjoyed "just chilling, having a good time -- laughing, smiling like always."
But Colin said that his older brother recognized when he'd had too much fun, and at times Weston would walk home after going out to bars.
Early Saturday morning, that walk home turned deadly for the East Carolina University graduate.
Weston's body found Tuesday on the side of the road, just off westbound I-40 near Hammond Road in Raleigh.
Police say they are investigating his death as a hit and run.
Weston's girlfriend, Kaitlyn Holmes, said he was last seen around 1:30 a.m. Saturday near The Oxford bar on Fayetteville Street. She said the two had gotten into an argument outside the bar, which led to her leaving in a cab.
The last time Holmes saw Weston, the 23-year-old was walking down the street; but after having some drinks as the bar, she said he still "had his wits about him."
After a three-day search, Weston's body was located two miles from the downtown Raleigh pub by DOT crews who were painting the road and cleaning the shoulder.
Colin called his brother his "best friend," saying that Weston was "a teacher to me and my little brother."
"He showed me and my little brother the ropes," Colin said of the oldest of three brothers, adding that Weston was "benevolent" and selfless.
"He didn't want any reward for anything that he did for you because he just felt like it was the right thing to do," Colin said. "That was the way his whole life was."
Their father, Wayne Vandemerwe, described his oldest son as "a great son [and] great older brother."
"Weston was loved by everybody," Wayne said. "I don't know anybody who doesn't like Weston."
"He's still here with us," Colin added. "I still feel him. He's breathing the same air we breathe, for sure."
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