Sentence suspended for woman paralyzed in crash
BY KEITH EPPS
Her decision to flee from Stafford County deputies more than a year ago had already left Brittany Lea Landers paralyzed.
On Wednesday, it also led to her becoming a felon.
Landers, 21, pleaded guilty to charges of eluding police and driving under the influence in Stafford Circuit Court.
Judge J. Martin Bass sentenced her to a total of four years in prison, but suspended the entire sentence.
Landers has been unable to walk since Dec. 10 of 2010, when she was thrown from her Chevrolet Cavalier after wrecking it on Garrisonville Road in North Stafford.
According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Tara Mooney, the incident started about 9:30 p.m. that day when Landers drove through a red light leading from Eustace Road onto Garrisonville Road (State Route 610).
She turned east onto Route 610, then made a U-turn and headed west after Sgt. J.D. Pittman tried to stop her.
Mooney said Landers was driving about 80 mph in a 45 mph zone when she struck an SUV while trying to pass two vehicles.
Her car went into an embankment and she was ejected, landing on her face about 30 feet away.
Her car was totaled, as was the SUV driven by Denise Martin. Martin and a child who was with her were also injured.
Landers, who was struggling to breath and had a strong odor of alcohol, was rushed to a hospital with multiple injuries, including a serious spinal cord injury.
She was in the hospital until March of 2011 and has had extensive physical therapy since then.
She was still in a wheelchair Wednesday. The evidence indicates she has made some improvement, but her long-term prognosis remains uncertain.
Attorney Darren Meyer represented Landers.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404