Jury acquits man accused of involuntary manslaughter in fatal crash involving GOP train
Investigators say he drove garbage truck around safety arms
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. – The man accused of involuntary manslaughter after a fatal crash between a garbage truck and a train carrying GOP congressmen last January has been found not guilty, according to NBC29.
Investigators say Dana Naylor drove a garbage truck around the safety arms and onto the train tracks, resulting in the train hitting the truck, killing Christopher Foley and seriously injuring Dennis Eddy -- who were both in the truck with Naylor.
Naylor was charged with involuntary manslaughter and DUI maiming in connection to the crash, which happened in Crozet on Jan. 31, 2018.
On Wednesday, Judge Cheryl Higgins ruled that there is not evidence to support the DUI-related charge.
Prosecutors tried to present evidence in court Wednesday that they say showed Naylor was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash, but Higgins ruled against allowing the jury to hear the evidence.
Authorities performed a drug test while Naylor was being treated for injuries resulting from the crash after investigators said he smelled of alcohol.
The results of the test indicated that Naylor had THC in his system. Marijuana was also found inside of his truck.
However, a toxicology expert explained in court that the THC level found does not prove he was impaired. Higgins ruled that without proof of impairment, the commonwealth cannot charge Naylor with DUI maiming.
The defense said the crash was a "tragic accident," questioning how the truck could have driven around the safety arms if they were down. They also called a witness to the stand who lives near the crash site, who told jurors that there were times that the arms did not go down.
However, evidence and witnesses provided by the Commonwealth indicate that the safety arms were operating at the time of the crash.
In closing arguments, the Commonwealth said that Naylor showed a reckless disregard for human life and the safety of others.
Naylor's trial lasted a total of three days, and the jury handed down their verdict around 9:20 p.m. Wednesday.
Copyright 2019 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.