BY DONNIE JOHNSTON
A 36-year-old Culpeper man was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter Friday in a head-on collision that killed an expectant mother and her unborn child.
The Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office said Zulma Alvarez, 20, of Jeffersonton died from injuries she suffered when a northbound Jeep Cherokee crossed into the southbound lane of State Route 729 and collided head-on with her Ford van. The accident occurred just before 6:30 p.m. Thursday about a half-mile north of State Route 229.
Alvarez, who was nine months pregnant, was taken to Culpeper Regional Hospital, where she died.
The driver of the Cherokee, Orlando Cruz, was flown by helicopter to the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville. His condition was not available Friday evening.
A passenger in the Jeep was taken to Culpeper Regional Hospital, then flown to U.Va. Hospital, the Sheriff’s Office said. His name and condition were not available.
According to a Sheriff’s Office news release, Cruz was charged with two counts of aggravated involuntary manslaughter—one for the mother’s death and the other for the unborn child. He was also charged with driving under the influence, driving without a license and improper use of state inspection sticker.
The crash was one of two separate fatal head-on collisions in Culpeper Thursday evening. Andrea Dawn Henson, 28, died at the scene after her 2007 Hyundai collided with a 2007 Volvo about 5:50 p.m. on State Route 15.
According to Virginia State Police Sgt. Les Tyler, the Volvo was headed north when it apparently crossed the center line and struck Henson’s vehicle about one-tenth of a mile north of State Route 648.
The Volvo driver, Martha Jane Murray–Denicolas, 65, of Orange, was taken to U.Va. Hospital. Her condition was not available.