Burlington, NC -- Organizers of a fish fry collected more money than they expected Saturday, which meant they were able to provide some much-needed help to an Alamance County family.
Carl Wheeler was seriously injured and permanently disabled after a drunk driver hit him on July 24, 2011. He was helping 17-year-old Darren Jones push a stalled minivan off an exit ramp on I-85. The drunk driver slammed into them. Jones died as a result.
The Piedmont community rallied around the Wheeler family after Curtis Lutterloh admitted he was drunk behind the wheel and responsible for the death and injury. Lutterloh pleaded guilty to felony death by motor vehicle and felony serious injury by motor vehicle charges in February.
A little more than a week later, WFMY News 2 viewers rallied to raise enough money to cover the Wheeler family's rent debt. Some viewers even donated a wheelchair-lift van and a motorized wheelchair.
Volunteers staged a fish fry Saturday at the 778 Sports Bar & Grill in Burlington. Dozens of people stopped by to pick up a plate, and organizers collected $2,200.
"He was doing something that his mom raised him to do," said fundraiser organizer Rita Johnson. "He was being a Good Samaritan. And in doing something right, you would expect that you would get something better in return than what he got. There was really no justice."
You can make monetary donations at BB&T branches by contributing to the "2 Those Who Care/Wheeler Family" account. And catch up on the story by clicking on the videos and photo gallery on this page.
WFMY News 2