City Resident Indicted for Reckless Driving in Vehicular Death Case

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City Resident Indicted for Reckless Driving in Vehicular Death Case

For Immediate Release: December 15, 2016

On, December 12, 2016, the Grand Jury for the City of Alexandria returned an indictment related to the death of Gertrude Klackner, a 90 year-old city resident.

Sherri L. Sybert, a 51 year-old Alexandria resident, was charged with Reckless Driving-Misdemeanor.  This charge arose from a collision that occurred on October 3, 2016, in the 300 block of Yoakum Parkway.  Ms. Klackner was walking across Yoakum Parkway when she was struck by a vehicle operated by the Defendant.  Ms. Klackner was hospitalized after the crash and succumbed to her injuries on the morning of October 5, 2016. Reckless Driving is a class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a $2500 fine, plus a license suspension of not more than 6 months.   

Commonwealth's Attorney Bryan Porter said: "Virginia law is very clear, absent certain aggravating factors an accidental traffic death should be charged as reckless driving. In this case, the driver remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigation and her license was valid. There is no evidence suggesting that the driver was under the influence of intoxicants or was driving in a criminally negligent manner. Therefore the appropriate charge is reckless driving."

Rule 3.6 of the Virginia State Bar's Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys states, in pertinent part: "A lawyer participating in or associated with the… prosecution … of a criminal matter that may be tried to a jury shall not make or participate in making an extrajudicial statement… that the lawyer knows, or should know, will have a substantial likelihood of interfering with the fairness of a trial by jury." Therefore, the Commonwealth is prohibited from discussing the evidence, its trial strategy or its work product prior to trial or plea in this case. 

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