Reckless Driving & Involuntary Manslaughter Charges Filed in Virginia Fireman’s Death
A Virginia truck driver faces charges for reckless driving and involuntary manslaughter after killing a firefighter in an automotive accident, according to an article by CBS affiliate WTKR.
A grand jury from Hanover, Virginia, just elected to file formal charges against the truck driver in April 2019. The incident in question dates back to October 11, 2018, in the middle of Tropical Storm Michael. On that day, Hanover firefighters responded to a separate automotive accident on Interstate 295 near Pole Green Road.
While the firefighters were performing their duties along the side of the highway, the truck driver was barreling toward them. Between the poor weather and apparent intoxication, the truck driver lost control of his vehicle. Shortly thereafter, the truck driver smashed into the firetruck.
The force of the collision killed one 49-year-old firefighter who was standing outside the vehicle. Several other firefighters were injured as a result of this crash. In light of the severity of this offense, the grand jury determined that reckless driving and involuntary manslaughter charges were appropriate. After his arraignment, the courts will assign a trial date to the truck driver.
While this truck driver awaits the next steps in his legal case, it seems pertinent to review Virginia laws concerning reckless driving and involuntary manslaughter.
Code of Virginia Section 46.2-852 provides the general definition of reckless driving. This offense applies whenever a person drives in such a way that jeopardizes other people or property. Outside of this general definition, Virginia law also specific prohibitions against other types of reckless driving conduct as well.
Code of Virginia Section 46.2-868 stipulates that reckless driving is generally a Class 1 misdemeanor. Under Virginia law, Class 1 misdemeanors are routinely punishable by one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.
That being said, reckless driving can jump from a misdemeanor offense to a felony crime. If someone commits reckless driving on a suspended license and kills another person, it is a Class 6 felony. Under Virginia law, Class 6 felonies are often punishable by one to five years in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-36.1 establishes the definition of involuntary manslaughter. This offense applies whenever a driver operates a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and kills another person.
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-36 provides that involuntary manslaughter is a Class 5 felony. Under Virginia law, Class 5 felonies are commonly punishable by one to 10 years in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.
Contact Us Today for Help
If have legal questions about reckless driving, involuntary manslaughter, or similar offenses in Virginia, it can be extraordinarily beneficial to consult with a proficient criminal defense attorney. The Winchester reckless driving attorneys at Simms Showers LLP have mounted successful defenses against a variety of criminal charges, including reckless driving and involuntary manslaughter. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.