Affidavit says witness saw driver tailgaiting and holding cell phone prior to crash.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) has served search warrants on the driver of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee that struck a woman and killed her five-month-old son on Aug. 31 on Riverside Parkway. Four warrants were issued, two allowing deputies to seize the driver’s cell phones, and two to search the vehicle. In each case the second warrant was an updated version of the initial one.
The affidavit in support of the warrants, which includes a probable cause statement, identified the driver as John Miller, 45, of Leesburg. The affidavit asserted that Miller pulled over after hitting the mother and child, then called his attorney, Michael P. Kelly to the scene, and invoked his privilege to not give a statement to LCSO investigators.
The mother, who sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries, provided a statement on the scene and spoke with investigators again when she was treated at INOVA Loudoun Hospital. Her her five-month-old son died at the hospital.
According to the affidavit, a juvenile witness traveling behind Miller said he saw the driver holding a cell phone in his left hand prior to the crash. The witness also reported that the Jeep had been tailgating the car ahead of it, and turned left onto Riverside Parkway from Coton Manor Drive quickly, as if the driver was trying to beat the mother across the crosswalk. The witness said the traffic light was green and the signal on the intersection had the “walk” symbol on.
The affidavit further asserted that Kelly informed investigators that Miller had two cell phones with him at the time of the accident, and that he did not consent to deputies seizing the phones without a warrant. Investigators have since served the appropriate warrant and seized the phones, which are now in the custody of LCSO. Miller was alone in the vehicle, Kraig Troxell, LCSO Public Information Officer, said.
The Jeep was towed from the scene and is being kept in a weather-protected garage at the Leesburg Police Department’s facility while the investigation is underway.
Deputies have completed a search of the vehicle, and have documented various conditions and contents, include a bottle with 26 Advil pills and 2 oxycodone pills, and a silver iPod.
The crash is still under investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, the results will be reviewed with the Commonwealth Attorney’s office to determine any possible criminal charges, Troxell said.
This is a continuing investigation and the Tribune will provide updates as new information becomes available.