Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hit and run driver on W&OD Trail gets reduced sentence

Felony charges were changed to a misdemeanor for the woman who in June 2013 drove on the W&OD Trail from Hunter Mill Rd to Route 123, scattering pedestrians and severely injuring a bicyclist. She was given a 6-month sentence. According to the Post article Fairfax woman gets 6-month term for trail hit-and-run:
Mehak Chopra had drunk more than a half bottle of wine before mistakenly guiding her sedan onto one of the area’s most popular recreation trails and driving down the path at
40 mph last June, a Fairfax County prosecutor said.

Several pedestrians leapt off the Washington & Old Dominion Trail to avoid being struck, but Joseph Suriol, 65, never saw the car coming, and it plowed into him as he biked near Vienna. Chopra kept going.

By the time police caught up with her, she was driving on a rim that was sparking and could not stand when asked to perform a field sobriety test, the prosecutor said. A breath alcohol test registered nearly two and a half times the legal limit.

On Tuesday, Chopra, 29, of McLean, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and hit-and-run charges for the bizarre incident after reaching a deal with Fairfax County prosecutors to avoid a more serious felony charge. She was sentenced to nearly six months in jail.

Suriol, of Vienna, said he had hoped for more. The crash left him with a broken arm, a head wound, a dislocated shoulder and a blood clot in one leg. A purple scar snakes down one side of his face.

“I am disappointed she committed a felony, but ended up charged with a misdemeanor,” Suriol said after the hearing.

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