Driver who texted an emoji moments before killing 3 on Virginia highway gets one-year sentence

GOOCHLAND COUNTY, Va – A Goochland judge accepted a plea deal Tuesday between prosecutors and attorneys for the woman who hit and killed three people on the side of Route 288 near West Creek Parkway last year.

Despite evidence that Clair Carr was texting in the seconds leading up to the collision, prosecutors and the judge said Virginia law was “inadequate” when prosecuting a distracted driving case like this one.

On the night of June 27, 2018, Linli Xu struck a deer on Route 288 southbound, causing her Mercedes to engage the emergency brake and stranding the vehicle in the left travel lane. Amy Abbott and Justin Ransome stopped to help Xu, and prosecutors said all three were standing off the roadway to the left of the vehicle when Carr approached the scene.

Prosecutors said Carr swerved left to avoid hitting Xu’s Mercedes, but struck the three victims going more than 60 miles per hour, despite slamming on her brakes. Carr remained on scene.

Goochland prosecutors said they have evidence that Carr sent an emoji text just <b>three seconds</b> before the collision, but added Virginia distracted laws make it difficult to prove criminal negligence in cases like this one.

“The law is all or nothing.  It’s very cut an dry, there’s no grey area in the middle,” Nancye Hunter, Abbott’s sister, said after the hearing. “In all honesty, she took three lives and an unborn baby. She destroyed three families. She took a mother away from her two children.”

Carr’s family and attorney declined to comment following Tuesday’s hearing. (of course.)

%d bloggers like this: