Former reality TV star pleads guilty in deadly DUI crash

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A former reality star has pleaded guilty Wednesday morning in a DUI crash that killed a Coast Guardsman in November of 2017.

Virginia State Police say Melissa Hancock was driving the wrong way in the eastbound lanes on I-264 when she hit a Mazda head-on.

The driver of the Mazda, 29-year-old Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Dill, of Suffolk, died at the hospital.

“How do you forgive someone who took something so precious from you,” asked Dill’s wife Natalie.

Natalie Dill says she hopes someday that will change.  For now, she is just waiting for justice in her husband’s death.

“She took everything from me,” Dill added.  “My best friend.  We’ll never grow old together.  Never have children.  He would have made a great dad.”

The Coast Guard says Dill was stationed in Portsmouth. His father-in-law, Steve Rocha, said in November the fatal crash was “so sudden and unexpected.”

“We are having dinner one night and then my daughter is having to make the decision to withdraw care from him the next night. It’s been devastating to say the least,” Rocha said.

Daniel was on the way to pick Natalie up from the Oceanfront.  She was celebrating her birthday and he wanted her to get back safely.  He never made it to her.

“We were together for eight years,” Dill said.  “Eight really good years.There are times when I don’t want to be here either, but to watch his body fall apart (at the hospital), it replays in my head all the time,” Dill added.

Court records show Hancock’s preliminary breath test yielded a blood alcohol level of 0.19, more than double the legal limit of 0.08. Hancock reportedly told state police she had two to four mixed drinks at Peabody’s about an hour before the crash.

“An Uber cost $5-$10,” Dill said.  “There is Lyft.  There are so many options now a days.  This should not be occurring ever.”

Dill spent 11 years in the Coast Guard.  There’s not a day his family doesn’t think of the loss.

“Dan was like a son to us,” said father-in-law Steve Rocha.  “He was a part of our family.  If you looked in the dictionary for the definition of what a son-in-law should be, Dan’s picture should be there, because he was the perfect son-in-law.”

Hancock, a former reality star who was on the show “Little Women, Atlanta,” faces 21 years behind bars.  She will be sentenced October 10.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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