NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - A Norfolk police officer pleaded guilty to one count of reckless driving and will not face an involuntary manslaughter charge after killing a man on his bike last summer.
Derek M. Folston pleaded guilty in Norfolk Circuit Court Tuesday to one misdemeanor count of reckless driving. Another count of reckless driving and one count of involuntary manslaughter, a felony, were each withdrawn, according to the Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney's Office.
On July 25, 2010, Folston was working the midnight shift for the Norfolk Police Department. Sometime after 1 a.m., he and Officer Joey G. Bennett, Jr. finished responding to a call in the Campostella area of the city. Around 1:17 a.m., Bennett received a new call for service in the Tidewater Gardens area.
Bennett responded and Folston followed shortly thereafter to assist. Bennett was the lead vehicle and Folston drove behind him.
They drove north on Campostella Road from Wilson Road and over the Campostella Bridge.
Folston admitted to driving more than 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour, and that he did not turn on lights or sirens.
He was not responding to a "Code" or police emergency call, according to the Commonwealth's evidence.
As he followed Bennett under the I-264 overpass, Bennett stopped suddenly in the left lane and Folston swerved to avoid hitting Bennett.
At the same time, Donnell Worsley rode a bike from Bennett's lane into Folston's lane and was hit.
Worsley had a blood alcohol level of .20. He sustained severe head injuries and died two months later.
Bennett is also facing reckless driving charges.
Both will be sentenced this summer.
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