Trucker gets 22 years for fatal DUI crash

Travis Lee Tolliver
Travis Lee Tolliver

WISE, Va. — An Ohio truck driver has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for a deadly DUI crash in Wise County earlier this year.

Travis Lee Tolliver, 31, of Jackson, Ohio, pleaded guilty back in August to DUI, aggravated vehicular manslaughter, and felony maiming while DUI.

The charges stem from a Feb. 24 crash on U.S. 23 in Norton. Tolliver was driving his truck north in the southbound lanes of the highway, when he was involved in a head-on crash with a Chevy Cruze driven by Amanda Gail Pearson. Pearson was severely injured in the crash, while a passenger in her car, Perry Shea Owens, died at the scene.

Blood tests showed that Tolliver had meth, fentanyl and amphetamines in the system at the time of the crash.

“We place the utmost faith and trust in our commercial motor vehicle operators to be the best drivers on the road,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp said. “Operating a multi-ton truck at high rates of speed is unbelievably dangerous. The utter disregard for the safety of others in this case is unthinkable, driving a big rig while intoxicated by 17 times over the presumptive intoxicated amount of methamphetamine. There are no words to sufficiently describe it. Likewise, to take an innocent life in such a senseless manner is unbelievable. I believe that there is no sentence severe enough to sufficiently punish it and that is why we asked the Court to impose the maximum punishment available under Virginia law.

“Our prayers go out to the family of the victim in this case and hope that today’s sentence will give them closure.”

He remains in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail awaiting transfer to the Virginia Department of Corrections.