Court docs: Driver charged in fatal Route 288 crash may have been texting while driving

Posted at 1:17 PM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 13:17:38-04

GOOCHLAND COUNTY, Va. -- The driver who killed three people in a single crash on Route 288 in Goochland has been indicted three counts of involuntary manslaughter, Goochland Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Caudill announced. Clair C. Carr, 53, of North Chesterfield, will make her initial court appearance November 13.

Carr was driving the car that struck and killed three people standing along the side of Route 288 south the night of June 27, according to Virginia State Police.

The preliminary investigation revealed Linli Xu, 25, of Midlothian, hit a deer and stopped her car in the left lane of Route 288.

Justin C. Ransone, 41, of Midlothian and Amy Lee Abbott, 45, of Glen Allen, pulled over on the right shoulder, got out of their car, and went over to help Xu.

Justin C. Ransone, Amy Lee Abbott, and Linli Xu.

When Carr drove up behind Xu's vehicle, police said she veered to the left in order to avoid the car.

When she did so, police said, she struck the three people on the side of the road.

Xu, Ransone, and Abbott all died at the scene. Carr was not injured.

New civil court documents suggest that Carr may have been texting while driving moments before the crash.

CBS 6 found that three civil lawsuits have been filed by the victims’ families.

One of those lawsuits alleges Carr was texting while driving moments before the crash, but police have not confirmed that information.

All three lawsuits allege the car Carr was driving was provided by her employer so they’re also being sued. Each lawsuit is for $25 million dollars.


"Anybody that knew Justin knew he was always there to help," Taylor Ransone stated after his brother's death. "He loved his boys first and foremost. They were his life. He was just a great guy who would give you the shirt off his back... He had a big heart and a kind soul."

Abbott worked as a pharmaceutical representative and had two sons. She was very active in the Glen Allen community where she lived.

Xu's husband said he was grateful to both Justin and Amy for stopping to help his wife in her time of need.

"They were very kind and they stopped their car to help a stranger on the road. They’ve never even met before," he said.

This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips, photos, and video here.



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