A two-vehicle collision in Chesapeake, Virginia (VA), left an innocent woman dead and the other driver involved facing an involuntary manslaughter charge. The fatal crash happened at the intersection of S. Military Highway and Engle Avenue at around 8:30 pm on September 9, 2017.
Details on how the wreck happened are scarce. It is known, however, that the deceased victim, identified as a 22-year-old Chesapeake resident, died from her injuries at the scene.
The evidence that led police to issue the vehicular homicide charge was also kept out of news reports. Section 18.2-2.36.1 of the Virginia Code specifies two circumstances in which a driver can be accused of involuntary manslaughter. One is acting in a manner “so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life,” The other is when a person is found to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Proving that the wreck caused by the intoxicated driver led directly to another person’s death is necessary to secure a conviction.
The driving while intoxicated law in Virginia prohibits operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, or while “under the influence of any narcotic drug.” The ban exists because a DWI driver poses a continuous risk to others’ lives as a result of experiencing one or more of the following:
- Slowed reflexes,
- Impaired perception such as blurred or double vision,
- Impaired judgment and increased risk-taking, and
- Loss of consciousness.
This crash on S. Military Highway in Chesapeake likely illustrates just how dangerous diving under the influence is, and also how tragic the results can be. A young woman needlessly lost her life due to the reckless decision and behavior of someone else. Whatever happens with the criminal case, the at-fault driver should be held responsible for paying wrongful death compensation and damages to the deceased victim.
Our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family of the woman who died in this Chesapeake crash. My Virginia Beach-based wrongful death law firm colleagues and I only sue drunk and drugged drivers. We use all the evidence collected by criminal investigators and go further by conducting independent investigations into the causes and consequences of DWI wrecks. We make the extra effort because we believe any person who harms another while driving drunk or stoned should be held fully accountable.