Naylor Trial Underway in Albemarle Circuit Court
A dozen people took the witness during the first day of trial in the case against an Esmont man charged in connection with a fatal crash in Crozet last year.
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A dozen people took the witness during the first day of trial in the case against an Esmont man charged in connection with a fatal crash in Crozet last year.
Dana William Naylor Junior appeared in Albemarle Circuit Court early Monday, February 25. The 31-year-old defendant entered pleas of not guilty to the charges of involuntary manslaughter and DUI maiming. He is being represented by attorney William W. Tanner.
Authorities believe Naylor disregarded warnings when he drove a Time Disposal trash truck around the train tracks gates on Lanetown Road January 31, 2018. A chartered Amtrak train struck the truck, seriously injuring Dennis James Patrick Eddy and killing 28-year-old Christopher Sachem Foley.
A blood test conducted after the crash showed levels of THC in Naylor's system, which the defense believes was obtained illegally. Investigators said they smelled alcohol on Naylor while he was being treated at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
A jury made up of seven women and six men began hearing testimony Monday afternoon. Some of those called by the commonwealth to the stand included first-responders and investigators.
Video from the Amtrak train was played for the jurors. An engineer from the train pointed out that the safety arms were down and flashing as they approached the crossing. He and two other witnesses testified that they saw the trash truck weave around the safety arms and come to a stop on the tracks.
Two EMTs who were at the scene gave differing accounts to the jury: One of the EMTS described Naylor as being alert that day, telling her, “Don’t worry about me. Treat my friends.” She also testified that Naylor said he tried to beat the train, and that the crash was his fault. Though, the other EMT recalled Naylor looking “zoned out,” and saying, “My life is over.” However, he was not able to identify Naylor in court.
A supervisor from the train told jurors that he received treatment in the same ambulance as Naylor. According to the witness, the defendant said, “I shouldn’t have tried to beat the train,” and “My life is over.”
Naylor's trial is scheduled to last three days, and up to 30 people may be called to testify. Judge Cheryl Higgins is presiding.
Court is scheduled to resume at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, February 26.