CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) — The man killed by an accused impaired driver along U.S. 70 Business ner Clayton Monday is remembered by his friends and family as a motivated father and husband who came to the United States from Ukraine to create a better life.
Family friend Alex Bloom helped Yurii Vakhniak start a transportation business based out of Illinois shipping cars across the United States.
“He was a good guy who gave everything he had to his friends and his family,” Bloom said. “He was like a big, fluffy, friendly teddy bear.”
Vakhniak died Monday after being struck by a car while loading up cars in Johnston County, North Carolina.
Bloom said he leaves behind a wife and two children.
“He named his company after his daughter. His company is called Anastasia Services Inc.,” Bloom said. “These guys work day and night to provide for their family, grow a business and achieve the American dream. They didn’t come here to die, they came here to escape death.”
The driver, 26-year-old Seydina Ndiaye, is now charged with felony death by vehicle.
Ndiaye was driving on a revoked license following a long list of traffic charges, which include three additional DWIs, one from 2015 and two others currently pending from last year while driving impaired in Clayton and in Raleigh, according to court documents.
He also had numerous speeding infractions and driving on revoked license charges.
“We were all kind of shocked that this person is still on the streets,” Bloom said. “ We want to make sure that he dosen’t kill another one of our friends.”
In an outpouring of support, more than $27,500 had been raised by Friday afternoon for Vakhniak’s family and funeral expenses in an online fundraiser.