VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Florida man was given the maximum sentence for driving while drunk and causing a fatal car crash in Virginia Beach in June 2018.
Anthony Francis Spence, age 37, of Winter Park, Florida, was sentenced Monday in Virginia Beach Circuit Court to 20 years in prison — the maximum sentence for aggravated involuntary manslaughter under Virginia Code — without any time suspended.
Spence pleaded guilty in October 2019.
According to the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Spence and his passenger left Shaka’s, a bar at the Oceanfront, just before 10 p.m. June 3, 2018.
He drove at a high rate of speed down Shore Drive to North Great Neck Road. Some witnesses said he was driving at least 80 mph and narrowly missed hitting other cars.
At the same time, 73-year-old Maria Grayson Fox was headed home after spending the evening with her family.
As Fox turned onto North Great Neck Road from River Road, Spence struck the driver’s side of her car.
She died at the scene.
A witness who was jogging near the crash scene immediately ran to the crash to give aid and call 911.
The jogger saw Spence “stagger” out of the car and crawl away on his hands and knees, according to the commonwealth’s attorney’s office. A police K-9 unit later found Spence hiding in the bushes at a house about 60 yards away from the crash.
Once he was found, Spence was taken to a hospital and a blood sample was taken two hours post-crash. That later came back as a 0.165 blood alcohol concentration.
An expert toxicologist said his BAC level was likely as high as 0.205 at the time of the crash. The blood sample also showed traces of Xanax and amphetamine.
An airbag control module was also taken from Spence’s vehicle. Data showed he drove up to 113 mph in the five seconds leading up to the crash involving Fox. His speed at impact was 86.4 mph.
Spence has previously been convicted burglary, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, reckless driving, drug paraphernalia, and trespassing.
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