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Va. man faces DUI with death charge

May 21, 2002|BY STACEY DANZUSO

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Leesburg, Va., man was charged with DUI with death Monday in connection with a head-on collision on W.Va. 9 last month that claimed the life of a passenger in the man's car, court records said.

Jefferson County Magistrate William Senseney arraigned Robert Cruces, 21, of 709 Invermere Drive N.E., on charges of DUI with death and DUI with injury, according to court records.

Cruces was being held in the Eastern Regional Jail Monday night on $20,000 bond.

On April 7 at 12:19 a.m., Cruces was driving a Mitsubishi Eclipse west on W.Va. 9 near the Bloomery Bridge when his car struck a Chevrolet Blazer head-on, according to Jefferson County Magistrate Court records.

Marshall McDonald, a passenger in Cruces's car, was flown to a hospital where he later died, said court records.

A police officer spoke to Cruces at Jefferson Memorial Hospital after the crash but Cruces said he could not recall events leading up to the accident, court records said.

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While speaking to Cruces, the officer noticed a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from him, according to court records.

When questioned again about the incident, Cruces said he had "consumed a six-pack" before the crash, court records alleged.

A conviction on a DUI with death charge carries a possible punishment of one to 10 years in prison and a fine of $1,000 to $3,000.

Conviction on a DUI with injury charge carries a possible punishment of 24 hours to one year in jail and a fine of $200 to $1,000.

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