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BY KEITH EPPS
A King George County man, who was driving drug-impaired at the time of a fatal two-vehicle crash, pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated involuntary manslaughter in the death of a Stafford man.
Joshua Fitzpatrick, 24, also was convicted in Stafford County Circuit Court of driving under the influence of drugs. He faces a maximum of penalty of 21 years in prison when he is sentenced March 4.
A jury trial for Fitzpatrick had been scheduled to start Wednesday, but he decided to plead guilty instead.
According to the evidence presented by Commonwealth's Attorney Eric Olsen, Fitzpatrick was driving north on U.S. 1 near Telegraph Road in North Stafford early May 7 when his truck crossed into the southbound lanes and hit an Infiniti head-on.
The Infiniti's driver, 38-year-old Nadeem Rehman, died at the scene.
Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Flick testified at an earlier hearing that he was finishing up a traffic stop shortly after midnight when the truck came barreling toward him.
Flick said he pulled himself up onto his cruiser's light bar and the truck missed him by about a foot.
Flick got into his cruiser to go after the errant driver. The fatal crash took place about a quarter-mile away by the time Flick got there.
The crash was captured on the camera in Flick's police cruiser.
Fitzpatrick suffered an arm injury and a concussion in the crash. His fiance, a passenger in the truck, was not seriously hurt.
The evidence showed that Fitzpatrick had Xanax, methadone and oxycodone in his system at the time of the crash.
A state trooper testified that Fitzpatrick told him he was on his way from King George to Richmond at the time, a trip that would not have taken him to North Stafford.
The evidence also showed that Fitzpatrick had received an unusually large number of prescription pain medication in the months leading up to the crash.
The prescriptions came from doctors in and out of the area and involved more than 1,200 pills between Feb. 9 and May 1.
Court records show that one Fredericksburg doctor prescribed 800 oxycodone pills for Fitzpatrick between Feb. 9 and April 7.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404