Manslaughter charge in Hanover drunk driving accident

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Richard E. Lawrence, Jr. (PHOTO: Hanover Sheriff's Office)

HANOVER, Va. – Richard E. Lawrence, Jr.  now faces an additional charge, felony aggravated involuntary manslaughter, after the fatal crash that occurred in June on Pole Green Road, near Lee Davis Road.

The crash, which resulted in the fatality of Mary Hoover, was a head-on collision between 1999 Saab and a 2002 Chevrolet Blazer. When emergency responders arrived, the Saab was on fire.

Lawrence, 56, of the 7400 block of Newtown Road in St. Stephens Church, was charged initially with Driving Under the Influence.

Four victims from the Chevy SUV were taken to VCU Medical Center; an adult female and three juveniles; ages two, six and seven.

Officials said that upon completion of this investigation Lawrence was given the extra charge. Lawrence is currently free on bond and is scheduled to appear in Hanover County General District Court on September 18, at 9:30 a.m. for a preliminary hearing.
CBS 6 spoke with a man who came upon the crash scene before emergency responders arrived, and risked his life to save a complete stranger.

“The car was on fire and it was getting worse by the minute” said Michael Glovier.

He was on his way home Saturday night when he came upon the accident on Pole Green Road; the red Saab ablaze.

“There were people running, smoke, people screaming,” he said.

While others helped a woman and the young children– ages two, six and seven–in the Chevy Blazer, Glovier and another man pulled the driver out of the burning, smoke-filled car.

“He seemed dazed, and completely out of it,” said Glovier. “We had asked him if he had anything to drink and he said yes, he had been drinking that evening.”

But what deputies said that Lawrence failed to tell Glovier was that there was a passenger in the car.

“I was devastated. He didn’t mention it. You couldn’t tell by the wreckage there was another person in that car,” said Glovier.

Hoover was a teacher and had family in Richmond.