Suspect in custody following fatal Wilmington hit-and-run

Suspect in custody following fatal Wilmington hit-and-run
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 7:50 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2023 at 3:28 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Wilmington Police Department announced on Tuesday, Sept. 19, that a 47-year-old woman from Wilmington was taken into custody following a fatal hit-and-run that took place on Saturday.

Police named Emily Elizabeth Hayes as a suspect in the incident on Monday. She is being held in the New Hanover County Jail under a $305,800 secured bond, according to the WPD.

Michael Bernard, a 61-year-old Wilmington resident, was killed after being struck near Carolina Beach Road and Sunnyvale Drive just after midnight on Saturday.

The state claims that she attempted to dispose of the vehicle and EMS asked her to stay on the scene after she saw the firefighters attempting to revive Bernard, but that she still fled. The judge denied the state’s request to set her bond at $1 million.

The arrest warrant issued for Hayes says she is accused of altering, stealing or destroying criminal evidence, in this case, “blood and bodily fluids”, relevant to the case. The warrants also claim she was in possession of fentanyl, cocaine, psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA, LSD and marijuana.

As of Sept. 20, Hayes has been charged with:

  • Hit/run serious injury or death
  • Driving while license revoked not impaired revocation
  • Alter/steal/destroy evidence
  • Fail to report accident
  • Expired registration card/tag
  • No liability insurance
  • Three counts of possession of schedule I controlled substance
  • Possession of schedule II controlled substance
  • Possession of cocaine
  • Possession of schedule III controlled substance
  • Possession of marijuana greater than half to one and half ounces
  • Maintaining a vehicle/dwelling for the purpose of keeping/selling a controlled substance
  • Possession of marijuana paraphernalia
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

Hayes’ next court appearance is set for Oct. 5.