Mother forgives Midlothian man arrested after crash killed her son

Posted at 10:32 AM, Aug 15, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-15 18:17:32-04

ASHLAND, Va. -- A Midlothian man was arrested and charged with misdemeanor reckless driving following a crash that killed a Caroline County father. Walter D. Potter, 63, of Fairlington Lane, was driving the 1998 Ford van that rear-ended Floyd F. Robinson, Jr.'s 2004 Honda Civic setting off a chain of events that eventually lead to Robinson's death.

Walter D. Potter (PHOTO: Pamunkey Regional Jail)

Walter D. Potter (PHOTO: Pamunkey Regional Jail)

"The investigation is ongoing and no further details are being released," Hanover County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Chris Whitley wrote in an email. Investigators asked anyone who may have additional information about this crash contact the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office at (804) 365-6140.

Despite losing her son in the crash, Gwendolyn Robinson has found it in her heart to forgive.

"I have to forgive him because my God says I have to forgive him," a heart-broken Robinson said. "I hope his heart is as heavy as my heart."

Floyd Robinson, Sr., said while he also is able to forgive Potter, she said he believed Potter should be slapped with a stiff prison sentence, if convicted.

"I had been relieved that there was an arrest and I was relieved for a while you know what I mean, but I think they should give him like 20 years," Robinson, Sr. said.

Potter faces up to a year in jail and/or a $2500 fine if convicted of the misdemeanor reckless driving. CBS 6 legal expert Todd Stone said prosecutors would have a difficult time proving manslaughter in this case.

“You don`t punish the man based on the level of the tragedy," Stone said. "You punish the man for his actions and his negligence."

Robinson was stopped on Route 1 Tuesday afternoon as he waited to turn into a car dealership to see a friend, investigators and family members said. When Potter's van ran into Robinson's car, it pushed the car into oncoming traffic and threw Robinson and his children from the vehicle.

Ashland wreck

While lying on the road, Robinson was hit by another vehicle. He was pronounced dead at VCU Medical Center. His children, six-year-old Tiara and 11-year-old Tashawn, were seriously injured in the crash.

"He really loved his kids. He would want them to go on and excel in life and do their best to make something out of their lives,” Robinson’s sister Stacy Dabney said. “I will tell them even though he’s not here he is still here looking down on them."

Floyd F. Robinson, Jr.

Robinson Jr. lived with his wife and four children in Bowling Green where he worked for Caroline County Schools as a janitor at Bowling Green Elementary School. Family members said he was the family jokester and had an outgoing personality.

The Robinson family said no matter how much jail time Potter may get, it still doesn`t bring back their son.

"I know accidents happen, but he is still alive and he took my son," Gwendolyn Robinson said.

No one answered the door Friday at Potter's Midlothian home. He is due back in court on Friday, August 22.