NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A 19-year-old man, who was behind the wheel of a vehicle that was fleeing the police and — seconds later — caused a fatal crash, has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
Chaikim Datwon Reynolds, 19, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Newport News Circuit Court to the Class 5 felony, as well as evading and eluding police.
He was also sentenced to 10 years in prison with six years and nine months suspended, leaving three years and three months to serve on the involuntary manslaughter charge. He was sentenced to five years with all time suspended for eluding police.
According to police, officers attempted to stop a Ford Explorer driven by Reynolds Jan. 23 in the area of Boykin Lane and Jefferson Avenue.
Police had identified the passenger in the vehicle as a 20-year-old man wanted on multiple violent felony warrants, Darrell Pittman.
Officers attempted to stop the vehicle and turned on their emergency lights, but the driver, Reynolds, attempted to flee the scene.
He ran two red lights before crashing into a Dodge minivan.
“From the time the lights activated to the impact was roughly around 20 seconds,” said Police Chief Steve Drew following the incident.
Two women in the minivan were taken to the hospital.
The passenger, 78-year-old Elizabeth May Verley, died from her injuries. Her daughter, who was driving the van, was taken to the hospital and later released.
According to police, there were five people inside the SUV, including Pittman and Reynolds. Pittman left the scene but was later taken into custody.