Dinwiddie pursuit ends in deadly crash in Sussex, killing 5-year old; suspect charged with manslaughter

By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: April 3, 2019 | 5:13 p.m.

SUSSEX – A Petersburg man has been charged with manslaughter after he crashed into a car while trying to flee from pursuing law enforcement, killing a five-year old child inside and seriously injuring two others.

According to Virginia State Police, 29-year-old Toriando B. Smith of Petersburg has been charged with one felony count of involuntary manslaughter, one felony count of eluding police and for driving on a revoked license, with more charges expected following a police pursuit that began in Dinwiddie County and ended in a deadly crash in neighboring Sussex County.

The incident began as a traffic stop in Dinwiddie County after a 2018 Cheverolet Cruze driven by Smith was observed going nearly 15 mph over the posted 25 mph speed limit along Halligan Park Road just after 8 a.m. Wednesday. Authorities said a Virginia State Police trooper activated his lights and initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. As the trooper walked toward the vehicle on foot, Smith immediately sped away.

That pursuit made its way along Route 40 in Dinwiddie before crossing over into Sussex County, where the trooper eventually lost sight of the suspect vehicle, which was traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph. As the trooper conducted a search for the suspect, he came upon a traffic crash along Concord Sappony Road.

Virginia State Police’s investigation has revealed that Smith, driving the Cruze had struck a 2018 Chevrolet Impala at a bend in the road head-on. That impact caused the Cruze to catch fire.

The trooper was able to remove Smith from the burning vehicle, who received “serious, but non-life threatening” and is being treated at VCU Medical Center in Richmond.

That crash claimed the life of a five-year-old girl inside the Impala, authorities confirmed. An eight-year-old boy inside the Impala was taken to VCU Medical Center via MedFlight for treatment of life-threatening injuries while the driver of the Impala, identified as 30-year-old Latonya Chandler of Stony Creek is being treated at Southside Regional Medical Center in Petersburg for “non-life threatening, injuries.”

The crash remains under investigation and, according to Virginia State Police, “Additional charges are pending” against Smith in this deadly pursuit and crash.

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