Doctor's lack of concern after deadly DUI crash angers victim's family | News
IRMO, SC (WIS)- A man walking on an Irmo sidewalk died after being hit by an impaired driver Sunday night, according to the Irmo Police Department.
The collision happened on Lake Murray Boulevard near St. Andrews Road around 10:30 p.m.
According to Lexington County Coroner Harry O. Harman, Raymond A. Geiger, 39, of Irmo, was walking westbound on the sidewalk in front of 1155 Lake Murray Blvd. when he was struck by a black Land Rover traveling eastbound.
The coroner said Geiger was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said David Lee Smith, 46, of Lexington was driving the Land Rover. Smith is employed as a doctor with Lexington Family Practice on Polo Road, according to the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners website.
According to an arrest report, when officers arrived on the scene Smith told them he was a physician and offered to check Geiger's pulse. The officer refused and asked Smith if he had anything to drink. Smith said "no."
Officers observed that Smith was unsteady on his feet and didn't seem to grasp the severity of the situation. Smith's speech was slurred and his eyes were watery and blood shot, police said.
"I was swerving, I blacked out like narcolepsy, and was trying to get home," said Smith to the officer.
According to investigators, two witnesses told officers that Smith had been weaving across the road just prior to the collision. Based on Smith's condition and witness accounts of his driving, officers gave Smith field sobriety tests. He failed two of the three tests, investigators said.
A breath test yielded a zero percent blood-alcohol level, according to the report.
The report says Geiger was found 63 feet from where he was hit and Smith's vehicle ended up about 350 feet from Geiger's body.
After the tests, according to the arrest report, Smith asked officers "Who'd I kill?" After the officer answered Smith's question, he still seemed "very care-free, uncaring of the whole situation, and had an extreme lack of empathy," the report stated.
Hearing that Smith allegedly showed no empathy after learning someone died in the crash makes Geiger's sister Pam angry.
"You are supposed to be helping people," she says. "Did you not care about the patients when you were doing what you were doing? For you not to care about hitting someone."
Police took Smith to the Lexington Medical Center for urine and blood samples.
The incident report says a search of Smith's vehicle turned up two bottles of prescription pills, one of which had a label that read "May cause dizziness or drowsiness" and "This drug may impair the ability to drive or operate machinery."
Smith is being held at the Lexington County Detention Center on felony DUI charges. A judge denied bond Monday morning.
"He just really cared about everybody," says Pam Geiger. "There were so many people that treated him kind because he was such a good person."
She always worried about his walks up and down Lake Murray Boulevard in Irmo. She thought his daily routine was too dangerous.
"In the back of my mind I always feared that he may one day get hit by a car," says Geiger. "But just not like this. For someone to hit him like he was nothing. He was somebody to us."
People who work in Lake Murray Blvd. businesses Geiger frequented said they will miss him.
"He used to come and clean the parking lot and change the bags and all that stuff, never asked for money or nothing, but always came and asked what can I do for you to make a little bit of money."
Neel Patel would even share his lunch with Geiger and bets he would do the same.
"I would bet if I go and ask him, 'Buddy can you loan me $100?' And if he had $100 in his pocket he would have given it right then, so that kind of a guy," says Patel.
"It changed my whole persona today," says Shonna Duncan when she heard the news. "I seen him every day, all day, so, not to see him, and his character around is really going to be disappointing."
This incident remains under investigation by the Lexington County Coroner's Office, and the Irmo Police Department, with the assistance of the South Carolina Highway Patrol MAIT Team.
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