A man accused of causing a fatal drunk driving crash in September in Virginia was found to have two prescription drugs in his system at the time of the wreck. The man, 29, caused the accident when he drifted across a grassy median on Interstate 64, crossing into the oncoming lanes. The man is facing two counts of felony aggravated involuntary manslaughter related to the DUI accident.
The defendant’s toxicology tests determined that he had a high concentration of two prescription drugs in his body at the time of the crash. Analysis showed that he allegedly had about three times the maximum dosage of tramadol in his system. That is a strong painkiller. Further, the man also had a significant amount of cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxant that can heighten the effects of the pain medication. Both drugs cause drowsiness and would lower reaction time.
The man had admitted that he was on his way to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting when the accident occurred. He told hospital personnel that he was suffering from a drug problem, and information about recovery was found in his truck. The man has had several traffic citations in the past 10 years, and he lost his arm and leg in a motorcycle accident in 2009.
Official reports show that the man is accused of killing a 31-year-old woman and her 12-year-old daughter at the scene. Witnesses to the crash said that the man did not attempt to correct his path as his pickup truck crossed over into oncoming traffic. Officers estimate that the driver may have been traveling as much as 15 mph over the 55 mph speed limit.
The defendant in this case has not yet entered a plea, and he is being held without bond. Those facing DUI charges accompanied by manslaughter or other penalties may benefit from the assistance of a Virginia attorney. These professionals can provide additional information about the legal process from indictment through sentencing and beyond.
Source: The Virginian-Pilot, “Driver in fatal Va. Beach crash was on two drugs” Margaret Matray, Mar. 01, 2014