By MELINDA WILLIAMS
A Dublin woman and a Max Meadows man are facing involuntary manslaughter charges in separate fatal wrecks this fall.
Laura Ann Crowder, 33, and Dustin Hodge, 24, each are charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deaths of persons involved in automobile accidents they are alleged to have caused by virtue of gross negligence.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor said the Commonwealth’s theory in Crowder’s case is that “Crowder was under the influence of methadone, which caused her to cross the center line and kill the victim in this case.”
In Hodge’s case, he said, the theory is “that Hodge was racing another vehicle at speeds approaching or exceeding 100 miles per hour, which caused the accident and resulted in the death of the victim.”
Crowder was involved in a three-vehicle crash on Route 11 Aug. 24 that claimed the life of a Radford woman and injured two others.
At that time, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jeff Saunders said 61-year-old Carol Jean Davis died at the scene of an 8:34 a.m. crash near Courtney Lane. He said Davis was northbound in a 2011 Honda when a southbound 1997 Oldsmobile sedan driven by Crowder crossed the centerline, striking the Honda.
The Oldsmobile also struck a northbound 1999 Chevrolet driven by 19-year-old Brittany Mitchell of Radford. Mitchell’s injuries were not serious.
Hodge was the driver of a 1995 Accura Integra that overturned on Route 100 Sept. 15. The front seat passenger in the Accura, Misty Dawn Davis, 26, of Hillsville, was ejected and died at the scene of the 5:50 p.m. wreck near New River Valley Airport.
Following that wreck, Saunders said the car was northbound when it veered into the median and rolled several times, ejecting Davis and the back seat passenger, Justin Presgraves, 23, of Dublin.
Neither Davis nor Presgraves were wearing seatbelts, according to Saunders. Presgraves was airlifted to a Roanoke hospital, but he was listed in good condition a few days later.
Involuntary manslaughter is a Class 5 felony carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.