In November of 2010, a 22-year-old man under the influence of PCP got behind the wheel of a car and sped down Lee Highway—a decision that ultimately cost two people their lives.
On Friday, Carlos Eugene Lucas, of Gainesville, was sentenced in Prince William County Circuit Court to serve 11 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter and maiming resulting from driving. He also received five years probation following the sentences.
Meghan Christine Jandrositz, 20, who had grown up in Centreville and later lived in Chantilly, died in the crash that night two years ago, along with David Vernon Richardson, 50, of Warrenton. They were sitting in their car at a stop light in Gainesville when Lucas' car, going between 80 to 100 miles an hour, crashed into them, according to witness accounts.
Daniel Morris, Jandrositz's boyfriend, said he lost both his best friend and his girlfriend that night.
"They were two of the closest people I've ever had in my life," Morris, who was severely burned in the accident, said in court Friday.
"We had big plans," Morris said about Jandrositz, who had recently moved in with him. "We were going to do a lot of things together."
They had talked about the possibility of marriage one day. "I was madly in love with the girl," he said.
Debra Wines, Jandrositz's mother, brought photos of her daughter from her birth to the last year of her life, and read a poem aloud that she had composed. David Richardson's wife of 20 years, Brenda, held up an enormous photo of her husband and said, "This man in my life is gone now. I will never see him again."
Lucas' family and pastor came to speak on his behalf, saying that he had changed completely in the two years since the accident and was remorseful. Before he was sentenced, Lucas—whose charges were reduced in June after he pleaded guilty—turned to face the two families, their friends, and apologized.
"If I knew that I would hurt so many people, I would make another choice," he said. "I am so sorry."
He then turned to face his supporters, who filled half of the courtroom. "I also want to apologize to my family for the shame I brought you and disappointment."
Lucas' full sentence was 10 years on the manslaughter counts, with five years suspended, a year for driving under the influence with all time suspended, in addition to five years with four years suspended for the the maiming charge.
The Commonwealth's Attorney had argued in favor of the maximum possible penalty—26 years. With credit for time served, Lucas could potentially be released in seven years.