The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Drugged driver gets prison term
A King George County man who had large amounts of prescription medication in his system when he caused a fatal two-vehicle crash last year was ordered Monday to serve just over eight years in prison.
Joshua Fitzpatrick, 24, was sentenced in Stafford Circuit Court to a total of 21 years in prison with all but eight years and three months suspended.
He had previously pleaded guilty to aggravated involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence in connection with the May 7 death of 38-year-old Stafford resident Nadeem Rehman.
Judge J. Martin Bass’ sentence was at the high end of the recommended state sentencing guidelines.
Rehman, whose wife was five months pregnant at the time and has since had their child, was about a quarter-mile from home when Fitzpatrick’s northbound truck crossed into the southbound lanes on U.S. 1 near Telegraph Road in North Stafford early May 7.
The truck crashed into Rehman’s Infiniti head-on, and Rehman died at the scene.
Moments earlier, Fitzpatrick barely missed striking Stafford Deputy Matthew Flick, who had just finished with a traffic stop and had to jump onto his cruiser to avoid being hit.
Fitzpatrick had already run into Rehman by the time Flick caught up to him. The grisly crash was captured on the camera in the deputy’s cruiser.
Fitzpatrick suffered an arm injury and a concussion in the crash. His fiancée, a passenger in the truck, was not seriously hurt.
The evidence presented by Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen showed that Fitzpatrick had Xanax, metha-done and oxycodone in his system at the time of the crash.
He had started taking pain pills following a previous accident, but his addiction had gotten out of control in the months prior to the crash, according to court testimony.
He got prescriptions from doctors in and out of the area and received more than 1,200 pills between Feb. 9 and May 1, the evidence showed.
It remains unclear why Fitzpatrick was even in North Stafford. He told a state trooper that he was on the way from King George to Richmond, a trip that would not have taken him near the crash scene.
Several of Rehman’s relatives testified Monday about the devastating impact his death has had on the family.
They said Rehman was supposed to be picking up some items from the store for his mother, and they suspected something was amiss when he hadn’t arrived hours later and wasn’t answering his phone.
Babar Rehman, the victim’s younger brother, said family members for months had to use tranquilizers to sleep, and some still need them occasionally.
“The tears have vanished, but the sorrow is still there,” Babar Rehman said.
Olsen called the accident “preventable and sheer senselessness,” and he said those close to Fitzpatrick should have done something to stop it.
Fitzpatrick, who was represented by attorneys Carey Bowen and Eugene Frost, read a statement prior to the sentence in which he apologized and expressed disappointment in himself.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404