A Stafford woman who tested positive for having alcohol and drugs in her system after she caused a fatal crash in the county early this year pleaded guilty to aggravated involuntary manslaughter Wednesday.
Rachel Elizabeth Clayton, 34, entered her plea in Stafford Circuit Court, where she will face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when she is sentenced Feb. 24.
According to the evidence presented by Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen, 31-year-old Omio Chowdhury of Stafford was driving “safely” on Shelton Shop Road the afternoon of Jan. 24 when his Nissan Rogue was struck head-on by a Nissan Xterra driven by Clayton. Chowdhury was on his way to work.
Olsen said the Xterra was traveling north when it went off the right side of the road, hit a mailbox and came back across the road, striking Chowdhury’s vehicle in the area of Shelton Shop and Winding Creek roads.
Neither driver was wearing a seat belt, something defense attorney Ron Hur pointed out in response to Olsen’s statement that Chowdhury was driving safely.
A glass smoking device packed with marijuana was found in Clayton’s vehicle, along with an empty Bud Light can with a needle inside. Cocaine was in the needle, Olsen said.
Clayton’s blood was sent to the state lab and it was determined that it contained alcohol, Xanax, cocaine, opiates and marijuana.
Clayton was indicted by a Stafford grand jury in May and arrested that month. She was later released on bond, but was arrested again in July after testing positive for cocaine and has been in jail ever since.