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Man sentenced in double fatality

RELATED: See more crime news from the Fredericksburg region

By PORTSIA SMITH

A Cumberland County man will serve 10 years in prison in connection with a double fatal hit and run in Louisa County.

Kenneth Graham Wadford, 30, was sentenced to 26 years in prison with all but 10 years suspended.

He entered guilty pleas to two counts of involuntary manslaughter, hit and run and driving on a revoked license from a previous DUI conviction in Louisa Circuit Court on Oct. 21.

According to Virginia State Police reports, troopers responded to the intersection of Zachary Taylor Highway and Days Bridge Road for a crash around 9:30 p.m. on June 22.

Police said the driver of a 2003 GMC Savana 3500 Van struck the rear of a motorcycle. The male motorcyclist and his female passenger were ejected from the motorcycle and both were struck by the van as it fled. They both died at the scene beside each other, police said.

The victims, 50-year-old O’Neal Newman and 53-year-old Joyce Herriot, were headed home after spending a summer day together. Newman was driving his Ninja motorcycle.

According to court testimony, Wadford spent the day with some friends at a campground and consumed four twisted tea alcoholic drinks. He left the campground driving his company van and struck Newman’s motorcycle within a mile of the campground, said Louisa Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire.

He said Wadford was driving 54 miles per hour at the time of impact and there were no signs he even knew they were there until he hit them.

After striking both victims, Wadford drove the van for about a mile until the van broke down.

He then fled into the woods, which prompted a manhunt. He emerged from a swamp the next morning and was spotted by concerned citizens who called police.

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