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Eric Washburn
Eric Washburn
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Virginia Man Charged in Fatal DUI Crash

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A man from Powhatan County, Virginia is being held in Roanoke after he was involved in a fatal DUI wreck on July 4 that killed a Georgia woman.

The 28-year-old man is being held in the Western Virginia Regional Jail. The charges are reckless driving and driving while intoxicated (DWI) on a suspended license after having his licensed revoked on a previous DWI.

The Virginia State Police reported that the man was driving his 2004 Ford Expedition on I-81 in Montgomery County on July 4 when he ran off the road and slammed into a disabled tractor trailer. The tractor trailer was on the shoulder and had orange triangles and flares displayed behind the rig, as required by state law.

bus accident

The SUV driver was not injured in the resulting crash, but his passenger died in the rear end truck crash. 

The man already had lost his license stemming from a May 12 crash for drug possession and grand larceny. He was accused of stealing a diamond ring from his mother. Then he pawned it at a Richmond pawn shop.

The driver also has two previous charges for driving under the influence. In the first case, his 90-day jail sentence was suspended, and in the other, all but five months and 10 days of his six-month sentence were suspended.

Our View

We send our sympathies to the families of the woman who died in this fatal DUI crash. It really and truly saddens us that this allegedly drunk driver has been convicted of DUI before, and even has had his license suspended. Yet he continued to drive, and now his choices have led to the death of a young woman, according to the facts relayed in this article.

Nothing can be done to bring back this woman to her devastated family. But a wrongful death lawsuit could be appropriate to further punish the driver who was negligent in causing her death. A wrongful death lawsuit serves several purposes:

First, it compensates the victim’s family for their terrible personal loss. Their pain and suffering are worth a certain dollar amount under Virginia law. Second, the woman may have had financial dependents who now are without a parent or guardian to provide for their needs. A wrongful death lawsuit can bring much-needed financial relief to the dependent children and family. 

A wrongful death lawsuit also serves as a warning to other drunk drivers to cease their dangerous activity, or pay a very heavy price.