Rachel Nicole Frye Owens today withdrew her appeal to the reckless driving conviction she was handed for the June 2020 car crash that killed Damion Savon Robinson. She pleaded guilty, was fined $2,500 and was sentenced to 12 months in jail, with all of that time suspended.
Just before 11 p.m. on June 7, 2020, Owens struck Robinson, who was riding a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle, with her Dodge Challenger as she turned left onto Rock Creek Terrace from Bles Park Drive. Owens was charged with misdemeanor reckless driving.
During a Nov. 4 hearing in General District Court, Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj argued that Owens was distracted, turned too soon, was unfamiliar with her new car and should have known the area better. Biberaj also emphasized that Bles Park Drive is a road without visual impairments.
After General District Court Judge Mary Costello Daniel found Owens guilty of reckless driving, Owens appealed the decision in Circuit Court.
The case of Robinson’s death sparked an initiative from his long-term girlfriend, Selena Drincic, who lobbied state legislators to introduce a bill in this year’s Virginia General Assembly session to amend the reckless driving law by mandating that anyone who kills another and is convicted of reckless driving be found guilty of a Class 6 felony, rather than a Class 1 misdemeanor.
While no state legislators agreed to introduce such a bill, Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D-33) co-sponsored a separate bill that Drincic advocated. Senate Bill 1263 proposed to require drivers to change lanes when overtaking bicyclists or “certain other vehicles” when the lane of travel is not wide enough. The Virginia Senate voted the bill down 16-22 on Wednesday.