GAINESVILLE, Va. - Prince William County police have charged a driver accused of fleeing the scene of a rollover crash that left one of his passengers dead with involuntary manslaughter.
Investigators say 21-year-old Vicente Martir Vides Vasquez was driving a 2001 Toyota 4-Runner on James Madison Highway in Gainesville when he lost control of the vehicle at Thoroughfare Road early Monday morning.
The single-vehicle crash caused the backseat passenger, 38-year-old Jose Nelvin Romero Maldonado, to be ejected from the SUV. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Maldonado was not wearing a seat belt during the crash, police say.
A second passenger in the front passenger seat of the SUV, identified as a 30-year-old man who was wearing his seatbelt, was transported and released from hospital with minor injuries.
With the assistance of Fairfax County police, heat-seeking infrared technology from their helicopter was used to assist Prince William County police and a K-9 on the ground to search for the fleeing driver.
After an extensive search, deputies in Fauquier County ended up locating Vasquez walking along a roadway nearly 12 hours later at around 1 p.m. Monday.
Police believe speed and alcohol contributed to the deadly crash.
“We know everyone in the car knew each other to some extent, so it is unfortunate there were significant injuries in this crash,” said Prince William County Police Sgt. Jonathan Perok. “Anytime a vehicle rolls, there is more than likely going to be significant injuries, so it is unfortunate the driver just left and didn't at least render any aid or call."
Vasquez is charged with involuntary manslaughter, hit and run causing death and driving without a license.