Durham ‘STAYUMBL’ driver facing charges after stopping school bus, other traffic violations

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) –  Durham police say 50-year-old Diana Mems, also known as STAYUMBL, has been in at least 31 accidents since 2000.

Mems is now charged with careless and reckless driving, illegal passing, and impeding traffic after stopping her car in front of a school bus on a two-lane road, getting out of her car, and blocking it from moving.

The bus driver took a video of the incident and posted it on Facebook Friday, where it quickly went viral, garnering more than 80,000 views.

“I finally found her, I finally found her, y’all,” the bus driver says in the video. She says the bus was empty at the time.

CBS 17 has been investigating Mems since January after finding several videos of a car with the vanity license plate registered to Mems, STAYUMBL, driving in a reckless and aggressive manner.

“I would say it’s some of the most aggressive driving I’ve ever seen,” a viewer told CBS 17, describing a 2018 encounter with Mems. “Her driving has definitely developed a reputation. I think a lot of people are scared to be around the car and are on the lookout for her, for sure.”

In the video captured by that viewer, the car can be seen driving outside of the lane for long stretches of road, eventually illegally passing a minivan at a stoplight, cutting it off, and continuing down the road.

Similar videos and posts about STAYUMBL are littered across the internet, popping up in Reddit threads, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

Several posts in the Facebook group “SoDu Parent Posse” have hundreds of comments and reactions.

“Every time there is a post about her there’s a lot of comments on it because a lot of us have interacted with her already and have seen the trouble she can cause,” the Durham viewer said.

After searching through court records, CBS 17 found Mems associated with several aliases.

Between those aliases, CBS 17 found 31 traffic violations, all in Wake County. The District Attorney’s Office dismissed 15 of them.

Two of the charges are current, in addition to the three in Durham County related to the bus incident.

CBS 17 took our findings to the Wake County District Attorney’s Office and found prosecutors were not aware of Mems until CBS 17 started asking questions.

Once investigators began looking into it, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman says they found the same results. 

“Certainly here you have a series of different moving violations under different names, under different drivers license numbers,” Freeman said. “Whenever we have someone who is using multiple drivers license numbers, maybe giving multiple aliases to officers so that their record is not complete, it is impossible for us to get a clear view. To that end, they may have multiple moving violations that, even with a conviction, because they aren’t joined together…may not result in a suspension of their license that otherwise they might under the law have their license suspended.”

Though she said she still agrees with the dismissals given to Mems – all but one was a citation – Freeman confirmed that prosecutors having all of Mems’ information could have led to different judgments.

So how can law enforcement ensure other drivers with extensive records aren’t falling through the cracks?

Freeman said it starts with research, but because of the traffic court’s fast pace due to the 30,000 people that go through it each year, that’s easier said than done.

“Do we want to have a system where we catch all these people? Absolutely,” Freeman said. “We need to be taking the time to look that up in [the system] and see if we can piece it together, but that becomes a challenge in the volume that we have. It really does become incumbent upon [the officer] pulling that person up in the system and looking to see that the DMV photo is who they’ve actually stopped.”

CBS 17 did talk to Mems on the phone.

She said the school bus incident was not her fault, and that she hasn’t done anything to hurt anyone.

CBS 17 received photos that show Mems has a new license plate.

Mems is due back in Wake County court on May 6 for two traffic violations. She’s due in Durham County court for three traffic violations on May 24. Police are asking everyone who’s had an encounter with STAYUMBL to show.

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