ROBERSONVILLE, MARTIN COUNTY - A 25-year-old man killed in a Beaufort County crash was honored at the East Carolina Motor Speedway over the weekend.
Charlie "Chuck" Edward Godley IV, of Washington, was killed on Aug. 27. Troopers said Godley's SUV went left of center on VOA Road, near Highway 264, and hit an oncoming pickup truck. Godley was airlifted to a hospital where he died, investigators said.
Godley was a driver in the Mini Stock division. He began racing at East Carolina Motor Speedway (ECMS) in Robersonville when he was just 13 years old, according to racetrack officials. During the ceremony at ECMS Saturday night, Godley's grandfather, Verlon Toler, was presented a trophy by his family.
Toler thanked the fans, drivers, crews and staff at ECMS for all their support and said, "I will be back".
To honor Godley, the Mini Stock division placed his car on the pole for the first two warmup laps. Godley's brother, Lee Thomas Campbell, then drove the car into the pits for the final time. Godley's youngest brother, Logan Todd Vick, later waved the green flag to start the Mini Stock 25-lap race.
Prior to the ceremony at ECMS, Godley's funeral was held Saturday afternoon at Paul Funeral Home in Washington.
Godley's uncle, Virgil Toler, explained how the family was coping.
"It's a day-by-day thing. I mean, he's gone to a better place. But it still takes a while to fill that space in your heart," said Toler.
Toler told NewsChannel 12 Godley was good at a lot of things, but had a strong passion for racing cars.
"Everybody's good at something and he was- he loved his cars. He loved to race," Toler said.
According to Toler, Godley's racing career started early, with him winning his first local championship at age 13. Toler motioned to a pile of trophies stacked on Godley's race car.
"[These are] just some of the championship trophies where he finished in the top three in Robersonville, North Carolina," said Toler. "We've got containers of feature wins from Robersonville."
According to Toler, Godley's grandfather was the last family member to see him alive.
"He said, 'I'll be back in about 30 minutes grandpa and I love you.' We got the phone call that God had carried him on to a racetrack up in the sky," said Toler. "We love him, we'll always love him. I hope he looks down upon us and, and realizes that- how much we miss him."
Troopers said the pickup truck that Godley crashed into had two people inside: 50-year-old Gregory Williams and 57-year-old Deborah Martin. They were injured but were expected to recover.
Investigators said they were working to determine what caused Godley to cross the center line.