The crash occurred in February 2011, on Route 340 in Stuarts Draft, VA. The victim, driving a 2003 Mercury Sable, was idling in the left lane, waiting to pull into his employer’s parking lot. The defendant, driving a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am, failed to stop at a stop sign, crossed several lanes of traffic and plowed his car into the side of the victim’s vehicle.
The force from the broadside impact on the driver’s side of the victim’s car broke twelve of his ribs and severed his descending aorta. The victim was rushed to Augusta Health in Fishersville, where he was pronounced dead later that evening.
Police say the driver’s blood alcohol level content was 0.12. The legal limit in Virginia is 0.08. He entered an Alford plea to the charges of involuntary manslaughter. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt, but acknowledges enough evidence exists for a conviction. In addition to the prison sentence, the defendant will also be placed on probation for two years upon his prison release.
The Virginia Injury Lawyer Perspective:
The victim in this tragedy left behind a 13 year old daughter. Although the driver who caused this accident has been found criminally at fault and has been sentenced to prison, the victim’s family should seek counsel from a Virginia wrongful death attorney to pursue a civil liability claim against the driver, as well.
Route 340, Stuarts Draft, VA, the location of the fatal accident.