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Timothy Darrell Wellons' blood-alcohol level exceeded 0.20 percent after the crash, the indictment said.
Timothy Darrell Wellons
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
The driver charged in last month’s fatal rush hour crash on Interstate 581 had a blood-alcohol content at least two and a half times the legal limit, according to an indictment filed Monday in Roanoke Circuit Court.
Timothy Darrell Wellons’ blood-alcohol content exceeded 0.20 percent when he crashed just after 5 p.m. June 12, the document said. It did not specify Wellons’ exact BAC, but the legal limit for driving in Virginia is 0.08 percent.
Wellons, 34, was indicted Monday by a Roanoke grand jury on two counts of aggravated involuntary manslaughter and one count of DUI stemming from the crash.
Police have said Wellons’ Ford Taurus was headed north near the Valley View Boulevard exit that afternoon when it swerved across two lanes and collided with a tractor-trailer. That truck then crossed the median into the southbound lanes and struck another 18-wheeler and two other vehicles, investigators said.
A fireball engulfed the wreckage, and the drivers of the tractor-trailers — Paul Alexander Golding, 36, of Salem and Kenneth Graham, 54, of Lexington, N.C. — died in the blaze.
Wellons was charged immediately after the crash with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, but Roanoke Commonwealth’s Attorney Donald Caldwell said at the time that those offenses were placeholders until the case could go before a grand jury.
Search warrants said Wellons admitted to police he’d been drinking at work before the crash, and police seized a cup and a mug containing brown liquids from Wellons’ workplace.
Investigators also said in the warrants that while at the hospital Wellons had slurred speech and “a strong odor” of alcohol, and while he was being treated he was additionally charged with misdemeanor assault and battery.
“He grabbed one of the medical staff that was attending to him and he had to be forcibly restrained,” Roanoke police Capt. Monti Lee said Monday. Lee said no injuries resulted from that incident.
Wellons is scheduled to stand trial on all four charges in October, according to online court records.
Aggravated involuntary manslaughter in Virginia carries a penalty of one to 20 years in prison.
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