By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: December 22, 2019 | 12:30 p.m.
Prince George teen killed, others injured after drunk driver struck their vehicle in March
PRINCE GEORGE – A Dinwiddie man has been sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter charges following a crash along James River Drive that killed a Prince George High School student and left several others injured.
According to court records, Jeffrey Thomas Rose of Church Road, Va. was sentenced to 20 years behind bars with 14 years of that sentence suspended during his appearance last week in Prince George County Circuit Court. In addition to his six-year prison term, Rose’s driver’s license was indefinitely suspended and once released, he will remain on probation for an indefinite amount of time.
Last Thursday, Rose was also sentenced in connection with his guilty plea of driving while intoxicated, which saw all of the 12-month jail term suspended.
The case involving Rose ties back to a March crash along James River Drive a short distance from the Benjamin Harrison Bridge where, according to Prince George Police, a 2003 pickup truck driven by Rose was traveling westbound in the 15000 block of James River Drive when he ran off the road to the right. Through the local police department’s investigation, it was revealed that Rose overcorrected to the left and entered the eastbound lane, into the path of a 2003 Acura, with the two cars colliding.
The driver of the Acura, identified as Trevor Aldridge, a student at Prince George High School, died at the scene. Two other passengers inside the sedan and Rose were all transported to VCU Medical Center in Richmond with serious injuries.
Within days, local authorities announced that Rose had been arrested and charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter and driving while under the influence with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.20, with the Dinwiddie man being housed at Riverside Regional Jail after efforts to receive bond were denied.
Later in May, Prince George County Commonwealth’s Attorney Susan Fierro and her office moved forward with presenting the felony manslaughter case to the grand jury, who found there was sufficient evidence to move forward and issued indictments against Rose.
In an interview following Rose’s September guilty pleas, she explained, with Rose being convicted of aggravated DUI manslaughter and driving while under the influence, the court could sentence them him to “between 1 year and 6 years of active time in prison under the terms of the plea agreement,” noting this charge carried a one-year mandatory minimum and that six years is “the midpoint of the sentencing guidelines for the charge.”
As she recounted the Commonwealth’s findings in the case, Fierro explained, “Signs of Rose’s potential intoxication were noted by first responders” on the scene of the fatal crash, with the man admitting to police he had been drinking earlier in the day.
According to Fierro, efforts to attain a blood sample from Rose were hampered by VCU Medical Center in Richmond, where he was transported to following the crash, with the county prosecutor explaining, even though county officers obtained search warrants for both a legal blood draw and Rose’s medical records, “a lack of cooperation” the hospital staff resulted in the blood draw being delayed for several hours, with blood drawn at the hospital showing a Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC of 0.045, which is below the 0.08 legal limit but, as state officials note, can still result in impairment.
“The hospital records that were obtained pursuant to the search warrant contained results of a blood test,” she said. “The toxicologist from the Virginia Department of Forensic Science would have converted the results of that test into a BAC result of approximately 0.19-0.20 at the time of the accident,” nearly three times the legal limit.
In addition, local authorities obtained a search warrant for Rose’s truck in order to obtain its event data recorder, which tracks various driver inputs and can provide key information in the time immediately prior to a crash or similar significant impact. According to the data gleaned from the device, it was revealed that Rose was traveling 75 miles per hour along James River Drive three seconds before the crash.
Copyright 2019 by Womack Publishing
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