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Child Killed in Head-On Crash

Suspect sped away from state trooper

April 03, 2019 - 3:22 pm

(RICHMOND - - Virginia State Police say a 5-year-old girl has been killed and an 8-year-old boy left with life-threatening injuries after a crash in Sussex County in which a suspect speeding away from a trooper collided with another vehicle near Route 40.

VSP's Corrine Geller says the trooper was not actively pursuing the suspect at the time of the crash and had lost him at that point.

She says it started Wendesday morning in Dinwiddie County when the trooper noticed a car speeding and initiated a traffic stop. The vehcile did pull over, but as the trooper approached on foot, Geller says the driver sped off and a pursuit was initiated.

The chase continued onto Route 40 and entered Sussex County. The trooper lost sight of the 2018 Chevy Cruze, which was travelling in exess of 100 mph, she says.

As the trooper searched the area for the suspect vehicle - not in pursuit at the time - he came upon a crash in which the Cruze had hit another vehicle head on. The impact caused the Cruze to catch fire. The trooper pulled the pursuit suspect out of his burning vehicle. He was the only passenger, suffered serious, but non life-threatening injuries and is being treated at VCU Medical Center.

Wednesday afternoon, State Police charged the suspect, Toriando B. Smith, 29, of Petersburg, on one felony count of involuntary manslaughter, one felony count of eluding police and for driving on a revoked license. Additional charges are pending. Geller says the trooper discovered that the suspect has outstanding warrants.

The others involved were in the vehicle that was hit. The 5-year-old girl succumbed to her injuries. The 8-year-old boy was taken by Med-Flight to VCU Medical Center, where he is being treated for life-threatening injuries. The driver of the car struck, Latonya S. Chandler, 30, of Stony Creek, is being treated at Southside Regional Medical Center in Petersburg for serious, but non life-threatening injuries.