CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- "I woke up with my head in the dash and stuck to the airbag." That is how Shawn Spence, Jr. described the moments after Sunday morning's crash on Route 10, near Sunset Memorial Park, in Chester. Spence, a Thomas Dale High School senior, was riding shotgun while his friend Gavin Rice, a senior at L.C. Bird, drove to the gas station to pick up sodas and snacks.
"I saw about 50 yards away sparks flying," Spence, Jr. said. Moments later, impact. A head-on collision. Both teens were knocked unconsciousness. Spence, Jr. woke up first and thought his best friend was dead.
Michael Accashian, 38, was driving the other car involved in the accident, according to police. He was charged with driving drunk and driving with a revoked license. When asked, Accashian's partner claimed he did not give the Chester man permission to drive his car that night. He also said Accashian hit three or four cars in the parking lot of a Chester Village bar hours before the crash. The bar owner confirmed a number cars were hit late Saturday night.
Accashian has been arrested for driving drunk at least three times before, according to online court records.
"When you have a history of alcohol abuse he has no regards for anyone but himself,” Spence's father said. “He hasn't changed his life, so I have no compassion towards him. I couldn’t care less."
Both Rice and Accashian were treated Sunday and Monday at VCU Medical Center. Their conditions have not been released, though Rice's mother said her son was in critical condition when he underwent surgery Monday.
“I think God had his hands on the boys that night. It’s tough. It’s really tough,” Spence's father said about his son’s condition. “How that boy walked away from that car is amazing. It is simply amazing.”