Father of 5 killed in Midlothian Turnpike crash on Valentine’s Day

Richmond

A Richmond Public Schools teacher accused of running a red light while driving drunk has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after the two-vehicle crash.

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Rakeem Bland, a father of five and Richmond security guard, was killed on Valentine’s Day in a fatal crash along Midlothian Turnpike.

Police arrested Anthoneya A. Hodges, a 26-year-old Richmond Public Schools teacher, following the two-vehicle crash. Hodges is accused of running a red light while driving drunk, authorities said.

Hodges was traveling down Midlothian Turnpike in a Nissan Kicks when she ran a red light and hit a GMC Suburban being driven by Bland, causing it to flip on its side. According to police, Bland died at the scene.

Bland, who was originally from Bronx, New York, was living in Richmond working at Vagabond as a security guard for the last two years.

Vagabond owner Jimmy Budd told 8News Monday that Bland was on his way to work when the crash happened. He was supposed to be at work by 9 p.m. Authorities said the crash happened at the intersection of Broad Rock Boulevard at 8:42 p.m.

“I was trying to call him incessantly, and couldn’t get any sort of return call, messages, nothing,” Budd explained.

Bland’s co-workers started to worry when Bland didn’t show up to work. In a group message — provided to 8News — Budd asked if Rakeem showed up to work. When the response is “no,” he replies “Rakeem I hope you’re alright!?!?”

“Soon as we closed that night we knew something was wrong,” Budd said. “It hit everyone really hard. I cried my eyes dry on Saturday.”

Those who knew Bland called him “The Beast” due to his muscular frame. He was a dedicated powerlifter and loving father of five.

“He’s such a jolly nice guy. He’s very attentive,” Budd told 8News. “He is a big guy, so just him being in the building monitoring, he was the keeper of the peace.”

Vagabond is working on putting together a fundraiser to help support his family.

Hodges, listed as a teacher at Armstrong High School, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, DUI, disregarding a red light and driving on a suspended license. Online court records show she had been arrested for DWI last summer, which led to her license getting suspended.

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