Van driver killed couple after he drank ‘Twisted Tea’

Posted at 2:03 PM, Oct 21, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-21 19:48:58-04

LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - The Cumberland man who killed a couple riding on their motorcycle drank four "twisted tea alcoholic drinks" before getting behind the wheel, Louisa County Commonwealth's Attorney Rusty McGuire said in an email.

Kenneth Wadford, 30, of Cumberland, pleaded guilty to two counts involuntary manslaughter, hit and run and driving on a revoked license from a previous D.U.I. conviction, McGuire said.

"O’Neal Newman and Joyce Herriot were heading home after spending a summer day together. Newmanwas driving his Ninja motorcycle. Wadford spent the day with some friends at a campground and consumed four twisted tea alcoholic drinks,"  McGuire wrote about that June 2013 day. "Wadford left the campground driving his company van and struck the motorcycle within a mile of the campground. He was driving 54 m.p.h. at the time of impact and there were no signs he even knew they were there until he hit them. Newman and Herriot died at the scene beside each other."

Newman, 50, and Herriot, 53, were from Spotsylvania. Newman's niece said her uncle owned three motorcycles. She added he and Herriot had been dating several years.

When Wadford's van broke down about a mile from the crash scene, he ran into the woods and hid from police for more than a day.

Wadford emerged from the woods on  June 24 with bloody legs, walked into Dickinson’s Store in Mineral and ordered cigarettes and a bottled water. He was sitting on the store’s front porch when police arrived.

“This is a tragic case and nothing can bring back the victims but justice has been served in a Louisa courthouse. Mr. Wadford’s actions were particularly egregious on a number of levels and we will point that out at sentencing on January 16, 2014," McGuire said in a statement. Wadford will face up to 31 in prison when he is sentenced.