UPDATE: Guilty verdict in traffic death of man changing tire

Posted at 1:04 PM, Oct 05, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-05 13:19:28-04

CHESTERFIELD, Va.  (WTVR) –  Chesterfield County Judge Keith Hurley listened to testimony from troopers about a deadly crash on I-95 southbound that happened on the afternoon of June 16. 

After listening to troopers in general district court this morning recount the events of investigating a U-Haul truck going off the side of the road and slamming into a Chrysler 300 up on a jack, Judge Hurley then listened to the witness testimony of Chesterfield resident Daniel Lamont.

Lamont told the judge he saw the driver of the U-Haul, 67-year-old Robert M. Krill of Pennsylvania, cross the James River Bridge out of Richmond heading southbound. 

The U-Haul, he said was driving erratically, mostly because of what he described as an overloaded trailer being pulled behind it.  He followed the truck as it “swerved in and out of lanes” to just about 1/2 mile north of Route 288. 

That’s when he saw the U-Haul veer off into the shoulder and “crash into something”.

That something, was 35-year-old Steven Ridley’s Chrysler.  He was in the middle of changing a tire when the truck violently crashed into him and the car. 

The impact was so hard it cut Ridley’s body in half and sent the car into a spin.  Standing outside of the car, helping his father change a flat tire, was his 14-year-old son who just missed getting hit by inches.  Ridley’s 9-year-old daughter was in the front seat, but escaped major injury.

The U-Haul, according to troopers, also spun around because of the impact and came to rest on its side.  Krill was rushed to the hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries. 

Troopers testified Krill couldn’t remember anything about the accident when they asked him what happened.

Krill’s defense attorney said her client was driving from Pennsylvania to a retirement home in Florida at the time.  He had no criminal or negative driving record.

Nearly a dozen of Ridley’s friends and family were in the courtroom when Judge Hurley rendered his guilty verdict against Krill for a charge of reckless driving. 

Some cried and mumbled their displeasure when Judge Hurley quickly passed a sentence as well: 6 months in jail with 5 months and 20 days suspended. 

That means Krill will spend 10 days in jail as well as pay a fine of $500.  He’ll also not be allowed to drive in Virginia for a span of 6 months after he gets out of jail.