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Chesapeake, VA Personal Injury Attorney Reports: Drug Use Suspected in Pickup Truck Accident That Killed Elderly Woman

Police found the synthetic marijuana product known as spice in the pickup truck driven by Stephen Vance shortly after he struck and killed Lucille Wheeler in Fisherville, Virginia (VA), on October 13, 2010. The 81-year-old woman had been mowing the lawn outside her home on Jefferson Highway, and Vance now faces aggravated involuntary manslaughter charges.

The negligence Vance demonstrated while driving on the rural road in Augusta County, VA, was determined to be aggravated because of his use of an intoxicating Class I drug. Both the federal government and Virginia have laws making the sale and use of spice illegal, and blood tests conducted on Vance showed he could be charged with DUI because he had spice metabolites in his system.

This map shows where a Fisherville, VA, woma was killed by a pickup driver suspected of being high on the synthetic marijuana product known as spice

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol always puts people -- those behind the wheel, in the vehicle as passengers and anyone else on or along the road -- at risk for injury and death. Not a week goes by that I or one of my Virginia personal injury law firm colleagues does not report on or take a case involving drunk or drugged driving.

Neither a criminal conviction of the at-fault pickup truck driver nor a wrongful death civil lawsuit verdict or settlement can compensate Wheeler's family for their loss, but both outcomes would represent measures of justice for a person whose irresponsibility cost another person her life.

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