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Guilty Plea Entered in Fatal Van, Motorcycle Crash - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Guilty Plea Entered in Fatal Van, Motorcycle Crash

Posted: Updated: 11/4/2013 3:22:00 PM

A man took responsibility Monday for a deadly motorcycle crash that killed two people in Louisa County.

Kenneth Wadford, 30, pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter, hit-and-run and driving on a revoked license. Wadford admits he was driving a van that hit a motorcycle at the intersection of Route 522 and Days Bridge Road in June.

O'Neal Newman and Joyce Harriot were killed.

Wadford faces up to 31 years behind bars when he is sentenced.

Louisa County Press Release

Louisa – Today, Kenneth G. Wadford,30, of Cumberland, entered pleas of guilty to two counts involuntary manslaughter, hit and run and driving on a revoked license from a previous D.U.I. conviction.

On June 22, 2013, O'Neal Newman and Joyce Herriot were heading home after spending a summer day together. Johnson was driving his Ninja motorcycle. Wadford spent the day with some friends at a campground and consumed four twisted tea alcoholic drinks. Wadford left the campground driving his company van and struck the motorcycle within a mile of the campground. He was driving 54 mph at the time of impact and there were no signs he even knew they were there until he hit them. Johnson and Herriot died at the scene beside each other.

After striking both victims Wadford drove the van for about a mile until the van broke down. The front of the van looked like he hit a telephone pole. He fled into the woods and law enforcement started a manhunt. The community also assisted in the manhunt and when Wadford emerged from the swamp a few days later concerned citizens notified law enforcement and Wadford was apprehended.

On speaking on the conviction, Louisa Commonwealth's Attorney Rusty McGuire said "this is a tragic case and nothing can bring back the victims but justice has been served in a Louisa courthouse. Mr. Wadford's actions were particularly egregious on a number of levels and we will point that out at sentencing on January 16, 2014. We want to personally thank the members of the Virginia State Police, Louisa County Sheriff's Office and the citizens who helped apprehend Wadford for coming together in bringing Wadford to justice."

Wadford faces up to 30 years on the felony charges and up to 12 months on the misdemeanor charge for a total of 31 years.

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