Charlottesville Police ID Victim, Make Arrest in 5th Street Fatal Crash

Posted: Updated:
Eric S. Betthauser Eric S. Betthauser
Police on the scene of a fatal crash on 5th Street in Charlottesville (FILE) Police on the scene of a fatal crash on 5th Street in Charlottesville (FILE)
Aaron A. Johnson Aaron A. Johnson

An Albemarle County teacher is dead and a Richmond man is facing charges after a fatal crash in Charlottesville.

Police and emergency crews were called out to the intersection of 5th Street Extended and Harris Road around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 22.

Authorities say 43-year-old Eric S. Betthauser died at the scene of the crash. He was a music teacher at Henley Middle School, as well as Western Albemarle High School, and lived in Charlottesville.

According to investigators, Betthauser was driving a Mazda, and was making a left turn on to Harris Rd. when he was hit by a Camaro driven by 27-year-old Aaron A. Johnson.

Johnson is charged with involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence. He is currently out on bond.

Police ask anyone with information related to this investigation to call Sgt. Manzano at 434-970-3280.

School officials plan to have grief counselors available for students and staff when they return from the holiday break.

Release from the Charlottesville Police Department:

On 11/22/2016 at approximately 6:26 p.m, The Charlottesville Police Department responded to the intersection of 5th Street Extended and Harris Road for the report of a two car motor vehicle accident

Upon arrival, officers found that a Chevrolet Camaro had struck a Mazda 3 four door sedan. Our preliminary investigation indicates that the Mazda was northbound on 5th Street Extended turning left on to Harris Road when the Camaro, which was southbound on 5th St. Extd., struck the Mazda.

As a result of injuries sustained in the accident, Eric S. Betthauser (43 years of age) the driver of the Mazda sedan died at the scene. Mr Betthauser was employed by Albemarle County Schools as a teacher and was a resident of the city of Charlottesville.

Aaron A. Johnson (27 years of age; resident of Richmond, Va.) has been charged with Involuntary Manslaughter (Va Code 18.2-36.1A) and Driving a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol (Va Code 18.2-266) in relation to this accident.

Johnson was released on a secured bond this morning after appearing in the Charlottesville General District Court.

Anyone with information related to this on-going investigation is asked to call Sgt Manzano at 434-970-3280.

Message from Henley Middle School:

Dear Members of our School Communities:

It is with great sorrow that we share that faculty member Eric Betthauser passed away last night. We learned from the police department last evening that Eric was involved in an automobile accident that remains under investigation.

Eric was a talented musician and educator. His passion made him a vital part of both the Western and Henley communities these past several years. Eric’s personal energy and passion for music revitalized our music programs at both our schools; his care and support for students grew their talents and confidence and his appreciation for the power of the performing arts brought greater joy to the culture of our schools.

When school resumes on Monday, we will have counselors available throughout the day to offer support for students and staff as we manage our way through this difficult time. Eric’s impact on students and colleagues was significant and does not end today.

I know you join us in keeping Eric’s family and friends in our thoughts.

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