PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Trinette Porter wept uncontrollably as she described Sunday’s sudden and preventable death of 52-year-old Craig Boone, who is affectionately known as Bread.
Boone was working in his capacity as a VDOT safety service patroller, assisting a motorist on I-64 in Hampton, along the right shoulder, when another driver ran off the road, killing him, according to Virginia State Police.
“I just feel like an angel, just someone put here for everyone else, he’s gone and I think it’s so unfair that someone took his life away,” said Porter, who graduated from Manor High School in Portsmouth.
Former classmates said Boone loved to create beats for homegrown rap music. Dionne Copeland played in the Manor band while Bread, and a name that would later become very familiar, cranked out tunes. “In class singing and rapping – him and Missy,” Copeland said.
Missy, as in Missy Elliott.
In an emotional interview near Manor High School, Copeland said she notified the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer to let her know this beloved figure in Hampton Roads was killed by a suspected drunk driver.
Rosetta Boone, in an emotional interview, called the victim a beloved brother and her best friend. “Anything that I needed, he would get it for me. I really don’t understand why he’s gone,” said Boone while surrounded by family and friends.
Boone was assisting a motorist on Interstate 64 in Hampton early Sunday morning when 27-year-old Alana Diomande, of Yorktown, allegedly ran off the road, sideswiped Boone’s VDOT truck, and killed him on impact.
VDOT was his part-time job. He owned a barbershop in Chesapeake named Heads, where loved ones say Boone often provided free haircuts to the homeless and back-to-school haircuts for neighborhood children.
Unified in grief and a determination to seek justice, Boone’s cousin issued a warning about drinking and driving.
“Think about who you’re gonna hurt when you kill somebody just that one time, you get behind that wheel and you kill somebody — someone his loved ones can’t replace.”
Police say Diomande was removed from the scene for blood withdrawal because she would not comply at the scene. She is jailed on charges of driving under the influence, involuntary manslaughter, obstruction, abusive language and failure to obey a highway marking.
Nina Ullrich, a spokesperson for VDOT issued a statement of condolence and a warning to those who drink and drive:
“The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) expresses our sincere condolences to Mr. Boone’s family, friends and colleagues. Mr. Boone was a VDOT contractor employed by AECOM, however, his work as a Safety Service Patrol crew member working on VDOT’s behalf is a critical part of our agency’s mission to keep our roadways safe and moving for all, and we have all been deeply impacted and are mourning this tragic loss of a teammate. In honor of Mr. Boone, it is imperative to remind and emphasize the need for all motorists to drive with caution and care on our roadways, especially so when our first responders and Safety Service Patrol members are working diligently along the roadways to assist others.”
On Tuesday, a Hampton General District Court Judge ordered the suspect will remain behind bars without bail while the case works its way through the criminal justice system. Court documents reviewed by 10 On Your Side reveal the suspect had a blood alcohol level of 0.133 percent. The legal limit in Virginia is 0.08 percent.
Court records also reveal the suspect is from New Jersey. She has lived in the region for three years, is employed, and has spent some time in college. Her next court date is set for October 24.
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