Driver Pleads Guilty In Fatal ATV Crash
Elkton Man Faces Up To 11 Years In Prison
Posted: February 6, 2013
HARRISONBURG — An Elkton man accused of being drunk when he crashed into an all-terrain vehicle, killing a man, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Rockingham County Circuit Court.
Justin D. Harris, 27, entered guilty pleas to felony involuntary manslaughter and misdemeanor driving under the influence in connection with the Oct. 22 crash.
During the hearing, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Alycia Eldridge said Harris struck and killed Ralph J. Mowbray, 73, of Elkton, who had stopped his ATV in the 17000 block of Red Brush Road north of Elkton.
Eldridge said Mowbray had been using a Honda Foreman ATV to pull his lawn mower from a ditch in which it was stuck. Another man, who was directing traffic for Mowbray on Red Brush Road, identified Harris as the driver.
Once Mowbray had pulled the lawn mower from the ditch, police say, he stopped the ATV in the westbound lane of Red Brush Road. He was struck as he got off the vehicle.
Mowbray was flown to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, where he died.
Harris, who was not injured, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 percent, prosecutors say. In Virginia, the presumed level of intoxication is 0.08.
“The defendant was stumbling and nearly fell over, the trooper noted,” Eldridge told Judge James Lane, adding that Harris acted erratic at the scene. “At one moment, he was laughing, and another moment he was crying.”
Lane scheduled Harris to be sentenced on April 15. He faces up to 11 years in prison.
Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or email@example.com