Burch had spent April 10, 2009 fishing and drinking beer at a pier in New Kent County before getting behind the wheel and driving into the oncoming lanes on U.S. Route 60, a four-lane divided road, in rural northern James City County.
Burch’s car collided head-on with a car driven by Christopher Mellis, 19. Mellis’s mother, Donna, has spoken passionately about the crash and its aftermath.
"I never, no matter what you’ve gone through in your life, there’s nothing to compare with the pain of losing your child," Donna Mellis told WAVY. "You might as well go out in the street with an uzi and start shooting, it’s no different."
Burch had a blood-alcohol content of 0.26, the Daily Press of Newport News said. It was his third-drunken-driving arrest.
"This was not an accident," James City County prosecutor Cathy Black said, according to the Daily Press "It was just a matter of time."
Burch ran from his car after the crash, the newspaper said, and authorities found him – with only minor injuries – standing with a group of onlookers.
Witnesses said Burch never bothered to check on his victim.
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