Crownsville teen is given probation for fatal accident

September 06, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A 19-year-old Crownsville man was placed on five years' probation Friday and ordered to work in a hospital emergency room after being convicted of drunken driving in an accident that killed his best friend.

Rodney L. Truman of the 1100 block of Severn View Drive was ordered by Circuit Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. to spend eight hours a week for 25 consecutive weeks as a volunteer in a hospital emergency room.

He also ordered Mr. Truman to undergo alcohol counseling and not to apply for a driver's license for the next three years.

Mr. Truman had been charged with auto manslaughter and homicide by motor vehicle but was cleared of those charges after a three-day trial last week.

He faced a year in jail and a $500 fine after being convicted of the lesser charges of driving while intoxicated and reckless driving.

"We're just glad it's over," said Roy Truman, 50, the defendant's father.

According to police, the younger Mr. Truman had left a party where he had been drinking and was heading west on St. Stephens Church Road, just west of Chesterfield Road, at about 11:45 p.m. Aug. 26, 1991.

When he tried to pass a car, Mr. Truman crossed the double yellow line and drove into the lane of oncoming traffic. He lost control of his Toyota Corolla, skidded off the right side of the road and hit a tree, police said.

A passenger in his car, Henry Christian Nutter, 20, was killed in the accident.

Mr. Truman, a student at Potomac State College in Keyser, W.Va., said he drank three beers on the night of the accident. He said he couldn't remember much of what happened after the accident but is sure his car was hit from behind before he hit the tree.

Members of Mr. Nutter's family said Mr. Truman was the victim's best friend.

They said they knew Mr. Nutter's death was an accident and they would have preferred Mr. Truman not be prosecuted.

During the trial, the victim's mother, Carmen Christian, testied on behalf of Mr. Truman.

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