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Drunken driver killed off-duty police officer

Settlement of Policy Limits plus $14,500

On July 22, 2017, the plaintiff, a 45-yearold off-duty police officer, and two friends rode their bicycles to a nearby bar and grill for dinner and drinks. At approximately 10:45 p.m., they headed home walking with their bicycles, crossing Cedar Road in the City of Chesapeake.

The defendant, age 73, failed to see plaintiff, striking and knocking him down on his back in the road near the curb. Medics arrived almost immediately thereafter and took over ALS. Plaintiff was pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m. The defendant stopped at the scene.

Officers questioned the defendant who stated he did not see the plaintiff until he hit him with his Ford Escape. An odor of alcoholic beverages seemed to be emanating from the defendant. The defendant admitted that he was going home after he had dinner and three to four beers at a restaurant. His bar tab showed that the defendant bought six Coors Lights and a vodka tonic with dinner.

Initially, liability was contested. The defense alleged that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent based on evidence that the plaintiff had consumed two “one shot” rum and cokes and two Budweisers prior to the impact. He wore a black shirt and brown shorts and crossed the road before the traffic light turned red, stopping the oncoming traffic.

The defendant was charged with a felony under Virginia Code 18.2-36-1, unintentionally causing the death of plaintiff as a result of driving while under the influence in violation of Virginia Code 18.2-266 (driving while intoxicated).

The defendant pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Pursuant to a plea agreement, the defendant received a five-year suspended penitentiary sentence, on the condition that he be monitored by home electronic device for a year, be on good behavior for five years, complete at least three years of supervised probation, and pay $14,500 in restitution. [19-T-018]

Drunken driver killed off-duty police officer

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