Driver charged with DUI in deadly head-on crash in Hanover; victims identified

Hanover County

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Hanover County Sheriff’s Office identified the two people killed Tuesday in a head-on crash involving a pickup truck and a sedan.

Investigators say a 41-year-old man has been charged in connection with their deaths.

Deputies responded to the area of West Patrick Henry Road, east of Tower Road for a two-vehicle crash just before 2:15 p.m. A pickup truck traveling westbound crossed the solid lines and collided head-on with a sedan traveling eastbound. 

The driver and front passenger of the sedan were pronounced deceased at the scene. The Sheriff’s Office identified the victims, 68-year-old Tonna J. McKinney and 20-year-old Shena M. McKinney, on Wednesday.

The driver of the pick-up truck, identified as Ernest Johnston, 41, of Montpelier, was arrested for driving under the influence. He is being held at Pamunkey Regional Jail without bond. 

Additional charges are pending.

“It just had to be a foolish person to even drive around like that,” said Steven Bell, a resident of Hanover County.

According to AAA, there were nearly 20,000 DUI convictions across the state of Virginia in 2018, nearly 6 percent more than in 2017.

In total, 7,181 alcohol-related crashes happened in 2018, resulting in about 5,000 injuries and nearly 300 deaths.

It’s why Hanover residents like Steven Bell told 8News drivers to need to think before they get behind the wheel drunk.

“You shouldn’t drink and drive, you shouldn’t get behind the wheel if you drink.”

Olivia Bell, also a resident of Hanover, agrees.

“You have to have a concentration on other people as well as yourself,” she said. ” You always have to drive for others.”

Stay with 8News for updates to this developing story.

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