Norfolk, Portsmouth & Hampton, Virginia

HomeVirginiaNorfolk, Portsmouth & Hampton

Email Rick Shapiro Rick Shapiro on LinkedIn Rick Shapiro on Twitter Rick Shapiro on Facebook Rick Shapiro on Avvo
Rick Shapiro
Rick Shapiro
Attorney • (800) 752-0042

Suspected DUI Driver Could Face Manslaughter Charges

Comments Off

Family members of a Petersburg VA man are angry and grieving the loss of 30 year-old Michael Jones, whose body was not found after a car accident on I-95 until several days later.  Jones was a passenger in the vehicle.

Some of the family believes that the man could have been saved if the driver of the SUV he was in had spoken up after the accident.


Virginia State Police stated that his girlfriend Chiquita Pettaway was driving her Chevy Suburban when she crashed at 2 am on June 20. She was actually thrown from the vehicle but was not seriously injured.

While on the scene of the crash, the police asked her if anyone else was in the SUV, and she said no at least three times, according to the police.

Jones’ family reported him missing the next day, and police again asked Pettaway if she was alone during the crash. She said yes.

Jones’ body was found approximately 40 yards from the crash site the next day.

Police have charged her so far with DUI and refusing a breath test. She could be charged with involuntary manslaughter, pending the outcome of the investigation, the police stated.

Our View

As Virginia drunk driving attorneys who only represent the victims of drunk driving and never the drunk drivers themselves, we are saddened that yet another life has been needlessly lost on Virginia roads, apparently due to alcohol.

DUI continues to be a big problem throughout the US with 11,000 people killed in drunk driving accidents every year. 

The family of the man who died as a result of this crash clearly has a civil wrongful death claim assuming that the driver of the SUV was negligent in causing the original crash. How insurance applies in these circumstances requires experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer evaluation.

Not only will the driver’s car insurance be applicable if the driver was negligent, but if the man who lost his life had a car insurance policy in Virginia, it provides mandatory UIM (Under insured motorist coverage) which also could apply depending upon the amount of such coverages in the policy.

If you are injured by a drunk driver in Virginia and you file a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover lost wages, past and future medical expenses, permanent disability and impairment damages, and pain and suffering. Note that there is no limit or ceiling for compensatory damages for personal injuries in car crashes in Virginia.

We are proud of our record of winning major settlements and verdicts for the grieving families of drunk drivers, and we hope they serve as a warning to all drivers to never get behind the wheel drunk.