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Man Killed in Car Crash with Alleged Drunk Driver


wooden cross roadside memorial

According to WTVR, a 46-year-old man is dead following a crash with a suspected drunk driver with a history of driving under the influence in Chesterfield, Virginia, on Tuesday morning.

Returning Home from Second Job

Alonza Jefferson, 46, was driving home from work at 12:50 a.m. local time when the fatal accident occurred. He was traveling north on Route 288 in a Cadillac when a southbound Chevy pickup truck drove off the road and through the median. Jefferson was hit by the truck, causing him to crash head-on into a guardrail.

Despite having his seatbelt on, Jefferson would die from injuries from the crash. The driver of the pickup truck, 27-year-old Matthew P. Pernell, suffered from serious injuries and was taken to VCU Medical Center. The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, according to WTVR. Pernell, whose truck rolled over, was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the wreck.

According to WTVR, Pernell faces driving under the influence and involuntary manslaughter charges. Pernell has a long traffic-related rap sheet, including two previous DUI convictions in 2010 and 2013. The previous DUI convictions could be a factor in the length of sentencing if Pernell were to be convicted of a crime involving alcohol.

Alcohol-impaired Driving Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 28 people die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver every day. In addition,

  • The cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion each year.
  • In 2014, 9,967 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
    • This accounts for 31 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
  • Sixteen percent of motor vehicle crashes involve drugs (legal or illegal) other than alcohol.

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