Woman says fiance is embarrassed for hitting several vehicles

Reported by Laura Sinacori - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A Wilmington resident helped police track down a man who they say committed a hit and run while driving drunk.

30-year-old Travis Montgomery Rivenbark was arrested earlier this week and charged with hit and run.

Laura Lyle supports her fiance, and says Rivenbark is a man who has turned his life around.

"He made a terrible accident now everybody is paying for it," said Lyle.

Lyle said Rivenbark was a different man when he got 3 DWI's in three years, making him a habitual offender.  She said he has sobered up and changed since.

"I've supported him all the way and I'm here and I'll go to bat for him because anybody that you could talked to anybody, he's got the biggest heart and he's turned completely around," said Lyle.  "In the past five years he's grown up and become a father and a dad and a rolemodel, whereas ten years ago you might not have thought that."

Lyle said her fiance slipped Wednesday and had his first drink in five years.  Police arrested him for another DWI along with felony hit and run.

Wintesses helped police track down Rivenbark after he reportedly hit several vehicles, and sent one woman to the hospital.

District Attorney Ben David said he's seen cases like this one, too often.

"It's very frustrating to those of us in law enforcement when we see someone who's habitually impaired still out on the streets because they clearly present a danger to this community," said David.

David is petitioning for a speical court to specifically handle repeat offenders.

"You can't warehouse away a problem with drug and alcohol dependency and so what we need to do is treat this, while at the same time appropriately punishing and making sure that they are removed from society," said David.

Lyle said Rivenbark is embarrassed about his actions and she will be attending recovery classes with him beginning this weekend.

David said Rivenbark could face additional charges and bonded out of the NHC Jail Friday.

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