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Woman charged in fatal Caroline crash gets bond


Bail was granted for a Maryland woman charged with involuntary manslaughter and driving while intoxicated after a crash in June that killed a woman in Caroline County.

Valerie Faye Gorham, 52, of Silver Spring, Md., was given a $75,000 bond Wednesday in Caroline Circuit Court after appealing an earlier decision.

Judge Joseph J. Ellis set conditions that she not consume any drugs or alcohol nor can she leave Virginia.

Defense attorney Cary Bowen said Gorham found a temporary residence in Henrico County. Ellis ruled that she must remain at that residence from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily.

Gorham is charged with one felony count of involuntary manslaughter, driving while intoxicated, possession of a controlled substance and four counts of maiming.

She is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on Nov. 15 in Caroline General District Court.

According to Virginia State Police Sgt. Thomas Molnar, Gorham struck a car while driving the wrong way on Interstate 95 on June 26.

Molnar said the two-vehicle collision occurred around 1:15 a.m. in the northbound lanes of I–95 near Ladysmith.

Molnar said five family members were heading north in the center lane in a 1998 Nissan Sentra when their vehicle was hit by Gorham’s 2003 BMW X–5 traveling south in the northbound lanes.

Lucia Chavez, 48, of the 1000 block of Dewberry Drive in Spotsylvania, died at the scene, said Molnar. She was a back-seat passenger.

The 19-year-old driver of the Nissan and her three other passengers, all of the Fredericksburg area, sustained serious, non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to a local hospital, Molnar said Gorham was not seriously injured but was transported to the hospital.

The center and right lanes of I–95 northbound were closed for five hours at the crash scene south of the 108 mile marker, two miles from the nearest interchange.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419