Crime & Public Safety

Bluffton man charged with DUI, fatal hit and run after May River Road wreck

This is what happened in Friday's fatal on May River Road

Joy Nelson, community relations manager with the Bluffton Police Department, gives an update on the three vehicle car crash that happened on May River Road on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Bluffton.
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Joy Nelson, community relations manager with the Bluffton Police Department, gives an update on the three vehicle car crash that happened on May River Road on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Bluffton.

Nikolai K. Wheeler, 27, of Bluffton, has been charged with driving under the influence after reportedly leaving the scene of a deadly three-car wreck Friday evening on May River Road in Bluffton.

“Witnesses said he was driving erratically on May River Road,” Bluffton Police Department Major Joseph Manning said. “Once they collided, he continued down the road and then crashed his vehicle, where he got on foot and fled.”

One person was killed and another was transported to Savannah Memorial Hospital, Manning said. The crash occurred around 5 p.m. near the Rose Dhu neighborhood.

Wheeler is a former member of the Russian National Golf Team, according to a webpage advertising Wheeler as a motivational speaker.

Manning said Wheeler was charged with two felony DUIs: one resulting in death and the other resulting in great bodily injury. Wheeler also was charged with a hit and run resulting in death, leaving the scene of a collision resulting in great bodily injury, and driving under a suspended license.

He said Wheeler was denied bond by a judge.

The victims of the crash were the drivers in the other two vehicles involved, Manning said. He said he was unable to release information on them.

Investigators closed May River Road between Buckwalter Parkway and Gibbett Road until about 10:30 p.m.

“Until our investigators can prove otherwise, these are criminal cases,” Manning said. “We treat it like a crime scene. We have to do everything we can to get the evidence and bring justice for the families.”

Teresa Moss: 843-706-8152, @TeresaIPBG

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