February 3, 2015- Goochland County, Va.
Sheila P. McCowan, 51, and her sister Yolanda McCowan, 49, died Sunday evening after their 2012 Nissan Sentra was struck from behind on Interstate 64 in Goochland County.
Andrew N. Chavis, 24, of Goochland County, faces drunk driving charges related to the accident.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Chavis struck the McCowan sisters at a high rate of speed, which caused their vehicle to run off the road and hit a tree. Sheila’s son, Justin was also in the car and suffered minor injuries. A second car was struck by Chavis’ car, but the driver of that vehicle was not injured.
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 8,047 alcohol-related accidents in 2013 alone, resulting in 253 fatalities. Virginians who get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol not only expose themselves to criminal charges, but may also be civilly liable for damage to people and property if an accident results.
In Virginia, legal intoxication begins at 0.08 BAC (blood-alcohol content). The legal penalties for driving while intoxicated (“DWI”)/driving under the influence (“DUI”) increase with both the amount of prior drunk driving convictions and with the BAC recorded at the time of arrest.
Under Virginia law, victims of traffic accidents may be entitled to recover compensation for wrongful death, personal injury, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one was injured or killed by a drunk driver, contact the attorneys at ReidGoodwin to schedule a legal consultation.