Driver in crash that killed Midlothian father had prior DUI charges

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- The man police said caused a deadly car accident in Chesterfield was arraigned in Chesterfield County Wednesday morning.

Matthew Pernell

Matthew Pernell

Matthew Pernell, 27, was arraigned on the charges of involuntary manslaughter and for his third DUI within a 10-year period. The judge appointed Pernell an attorney and denied him bond.

Court documents show Pernell has faced more than a dozen traffic charges since 2008, including DUI convictions in 2010 and 2013.

The accident happened Tuesday around 1 a.m. on Route 288 near Chester Road.

Police said Pernell was driving south on 288 when he lost control of his pickup truck, drove across the median and into the northbound lanes. Police say he struck another car, killing 46-year-old Alonza Jefferson.

Alonza Jefferson

Alonza Jefferson

Jefferson, a father of two, was on his way home from his second job.

One of Pernell's family members spoke after the arraignment Wednesday.

"I spent the whole day with him at the hospital," the man said.  "He's heartbroken. He knows he did wrong."

"He's very sorry for the family and the loss of the family member," he added.

Pernell is scheduled to return to court at 8:30 a.m, on Feb. 24 .

A GoFundMe account has been established by Mr. Jefferson's family, to help with funeral expenses.

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