Man sentenced in 2017 deadly hit-and-run

Morris Edward Davis
Morris Edward Davis (From: Spartanburg Co. Detention Center)

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – A Spartanburg man was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison for a 2017 fatal hit-and-run crash on Highway 221.

According to a soliticor’s office news release, Morris Edward Davis, 55, pleaded guilty to a hit-and-run with a death on Wednesday.

Circuit Judge Mark Hayes sentenced Davis to 25 years that was suspended to 12.5 years, along with five years probation.

According to the release, the crash happened on June 29 on Highway 221.

Davis was reportedly traveling north on Highway 221 near Owner Street when his Chevrolet SUV hit a northbound bicycle. The bicyclist was later identified as Dale Arthur Willenburg, 57, of Chesnee.

According to the release, Davis initially got out of his SUV to check on Willenburg, but then left the scene before police arrived.

He also failed to identify himself to bystanders.

Davis turned himself into the sheriff’s office the next day. Willenburg later died from his injuries sustained in the crash.

According to the release, Davis admitted to looking down at his cellphone before the crash and he was also found to be driving with a suspended license and driving without insurance.

“This was a senseless tragedy that could have easily been avoided,” Assistant Solicitor Spenser Smith said. “Mr. Davis will have a lot of time behind bars to think about the consequences of his actions.”

Davis also had a prior criminal record, which included convictions for possession with intent to distribute marijuana, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, distribution of cocaine and possession of cocaine.