Man sentenced to 10 years for crash he claimed was a suicide attempt

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A 21-year-old man who said he was trying to kill himself when he hit another vehicle head-on on First Colonial Road in January has been sentenced to a decade in prison.

Matthew Rushin, a former resident of Virginia Beach, was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in prison with 40 years suspended, leaving an active term of 10 years, said Macie Allen, spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

He pleaded guilty on Aug. 9 to several charges, including hit-and-run with injuries and two counts of malicious wounding. He was previously charged with attempted murder.

Rushin’s sentence exceeds the recommended term under the Virginia State Sentencing Guidelines, which suggested he serve no more than six years and four months.

According to Allen, the incident occurred Jan. 4. when Rushin struck another moving vehicle in a parking lot on Laskin Road in Virginia Beach then fled the scene.

After the hit-and-run, he then went onto First Colonial Road, driving recklessly, passing traffic and speeding, Allen said.

Rushin drove to the other side of the road when he reached a break in the median and struck another vehicle head-on. The vehicle was carrying a husband and wife who were visiting the area from New York.

After striking the New York couple’s vehicle, Rushin’s vehicle also hit a Honda Element with another couple.

The New York couple suffered significant injuries. The husband’s injuries were severe enough that he still remains in a medical facility as of Wednesday, Allen said. The couple in the Honda Element were treated and released later the same night as the crash.

When officers arrived at the scene of the crash, Rushin said he was trying to kill himself. Investigation revealed he was driving about 65 mph and did not apply his brakes before the crash. He tried to run following the collision, but several bystanders held him down until police arrived.

Prosecutors have previously said Rushin has a history of attempted suicide, and has a traumatic brain injury along with Asperger syndrome and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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