Driver in fatal Five Points wreck had recent DUI, no license
The man accused of driving drunk and hitting and killing a pedestrian in Five Points early Saturday morning did not have a driver's license because of a recent DUI conviction.
Columbia Police have charged 24-year-old William Carlen with felony DUI resulting in death, driving under suspension, and failure to surrender a suspended drivers license. Carlen is out of jail on $250,000 bond.
Richland County records show Carlen pleaded guilty to driving under the influence on March 2. He was arrested in September, 2011 and charged with DUI, .16 or higher. He was sentenced to spend 30 days in jail or pay a $1,000 fine and his driver's license was suspended.
Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said 24-year old Justin Timmerman of Chapin was hit by a vehicle Carlen was driving as he tried to cross Harden St. near Greene St. at about 4 a.m. Saturday. Timmerman died at the scene.
Police say Carlen was driving south on Harden St. when he hit Timmerman.
Timmerman had been an umpire for 4 years with the Palmetto Baseball League. Butch Derrick was one of his mentors.
"You have to be very vocal on the field when you're doing baseball," Derrick said. "You're the man in charge and you have to be confident of everything you do out there and Justin was that way. It took him a few years, but he got that way."
Justin ump'ed two games Friday night before heading down to Five Points. He was supposed to be back to call games on Saturday morning.
"Everybody's really affected at how quick a young person's life can be taken away from us," PBL executive director Ralph William said. "A lot of parents out here Saturday were in tears. A lot of kids were in tears. I know a few of the umpires and officials were in tears."
Friends say Timmerman loved the Gamecocks and he loved baseball. Friends who knew him well say he was always conscientious and his death leaves an emptiness that can never be filled.
"People don't understand. When you lose your son, that puts a hole in your heart and it's a hole that will never be -- can't be covered up, can't be fixed. It's something you just have to live with and go on and this is another hole in my heart with Justin because he was like a son," Derrick said.
Investigators are reviewing surveillance video from area cameras to gather more clues. The Columbia Police Department continues to investigate.
Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.